Against Dementia, Wellness Matters

January 31, 2020

Against Dementia, Wellness Matters

Insight from Sarah Burke, Wellness Coordinator:

Recently, I had the opportunity to co-present at The Mayflower’s “Think Tank” – our resident-led forum for discussing global issues – on the topic of dementia.

We had record-breaking attendance: People crammed into the room to hear the latest research on understanding, preventing and developing a cure for dementia. My co-presenter, Marilyn Molen, is a Mayflower resident and former nurse. She shared some recent medical progress on brain health, while I shared exercise habits that can keep your mind active over time. But that presentation got me thinking about what ‘health’ really means…

Whole-person wellness – not only physical health, but also social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, occupational and environmental health – is a core focus at The Mayflower. And according to current research, that may be the way to prevent dementia.

  • Physical Health. Studies suggest that regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing dementia by 30% – and with so many other benefits, there’s no reason not to keep active. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking, and getting plenty of sleep can also make a difference.
  • Intellectual Growth. Learning isn’t something that stops as you grow older – and there’s evidence to show it makes your brain more resilient to neural disease. Encourage yourself to be curious and follow your passions. Challenge yourself with games like bridge or chess, study a language, or pick up a new skill to boost your memory, concentration and long-term health.
  • Social Connection. What’s good for your heart can be good for your health, too. Loneliness is among the top risk factors for dementia, according to current research. Enjoy the benefits of staying social by volunteering, playing cards with friends, joining a reading club or going out to a group lunch.
  • Emotional and Spiritual Wellness. Depression is another big risk factor for dementia, but you can cultivate happiness in your life by staying mindful and reducing sources of stress. Make time in your day to count your blessings through prayer, meditation or journaling.
  • Enrichment and Passion. Whether you work, volunteer, or practice a craft, you’re probably familiar with the satisfaction of a job well done. Chasing your interests – and discovering new ones – can help you learn and thrive throughout life.

Our lives are complex, and so is our health. By striving to be active, engaged, curious, passionate and joyful, we can improve our quality of life for years to come.

Here’s to your health!

Thank you to our Wellness Coordinator, Sarah Burke, for contributing this blog. With a wide array of fitness programs, classes and clubs, The Mayflower’s commitment to wellness is reflected in the vibrant lives of our residents. To learn more, schedule a tour or give us a call at 407-672-1620.