Staying Social is a Boost For Brain Health
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, a campaign started in 2012 by Alzheimer’s Disease International to raise awareness of the most common cause of dementia. Currently, an estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
According to Alzheimer’s Association, remaining socially active may support brain health by improving cognitive function and possibly delay the onset of dementia. Socializing can also improve quality of life, reduce loneliness that may contribute to cognitive decline, and delay memory loss.
Being socially active can be challenging at a time when social distancing is encouraged, but there are ways to remotely participate in social activities. Here are some suggestions:
- Plan regular phone calls with family members and close friends
- Take a walk around the neighborhood and greet (from a safe distance) any neighbors you see
- Explore social media, such as Zoom and Facebook
- Try a video chat
- Attend a live online SilverSneakers exercise class at www.SilverSneakers.com
- Attend an online church service or virtual Bible study group
Senior Center staff and our partners in the community have collaborated in recent weeks to introduce new programs that offer local seniors the opportunity for social connection. Some require the use of an electronic device such as a laptop or tablet, and some use more traditional methods. This month's newsletter includes information about the following programs:
- Phone Buddies: We'll help you connect with local seniors who want to chat by phone once or twice a week (page 1)
- Highway 61: This audio-only program offers multiple opportunities to socialize each week (page 6)
- Pen Pals: Exchange letters by mail or email with students of social work at Boise State (page 1)
- Virtual programs: Food for Life classes and this month's Medicare 101 are live via videoconference (page 5)
We are available by phone M-F from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Give us a call if you have questions or want to sign up for any of these programs, 208-608-7580.
If you or someone you know struggles with signs of Alzheimer’s, there is help available locally. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association: Great Idaho Chapter at (208) 206-0041 for information on local resources, caregiver support and upcoming classes.