Along with keeping our bodies fit, it is important to take steps to sustain brain health and fitness. Brain Health refers to one’s ability to learn, remember, organize, focus and maintain an active mind. In 2016 the Baltimore County Department of Aging’s initiative, Brain Matters, will educate older adults about successful aging and brain health. Resources and activities will be offered to enhance brain function, provide strategies to care for those facing dementia or mental health illnesses, identify possible risk factors and improve the quality of life for older adults. Each month there will be a focus on different aspects of brain health.
Congratulations to Joan S. from the Pikesville Senior Center. Joan won a $25 gift card from Ukazoo Books for completing the Brain Matters: Your Body and Your Brain First Quarter Evaluation. The Brain Matters: Your Emotions and Your Brain Second Quarter Evaluation drawing will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2016. The evaluation will be posted on July 5, 2016.
May Programs - Brain Party
Baltimore County Senior Centers are sponsoring many programs on topics related to Brain Matters. For May, we look at the importance of having fun on brain functioning. A number of Baltimore County senior centers are offering special activities intended to help you have fun and improve your brain functioning. Refer to the Brain Matters Brochure (PDF) for more details on upcoming programs.
Risk Factor - Social Isolation
We are also planning programs for our brain health risk factor of the month – for May, Lack of Social Activity. Experimental studies show that social isolation produces significant changes in brain structures. Socially isolated individuals are more likely to become ill or develop dementia.
This month's Educational Speaker Series program is What Research Has Taught Us About Mental Health, by Kim Burton, BA, Director of Older Adult Programs, Mental Health Association of Maryland. Learn about the latest discoveries regarding mental health and how we can improve our lives as a result. The program will be held at Mental Health Association of Maryland, 1301 York Road, Suite 500, Lutherville, Maryland 21093, on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information call 410-887-2594.
Attend one of our educational programs or check out the links below for more information about social isolation and your brain.
Blues Busters – Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Growing older involves adjusting to changes that occur as people age. Change often means experiencing loss of: loved ones; health; jobs; homes; etc. Join Susan Parks for an interactive discussion on how to choose to be happier in your everyday life. Register at a Baltimore County senior center near you.
The Timeslips program uses group storytelling to enhance the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Creative storytelling is held at the following Baltimore County senior centers: Ateaze, Bykota,Catonsville, Cockeysville, Essex, Hereford, Liberty, Parkville, Pikesville and Victory Villa. To find out more, contact any of the senior centers listed.
Below are some resources for those who are interested in more information and relevant research on Brain Matters.
- Lifescript – 12 Fun Brain Games for Adults
- AARP – Brain Games
- Psychology Today – The Importance of Play – Play is a banquet for the brain
- Science.HowStuffWorks.com – What are the Effects of Social Isolation on the Brain?
- BrainHQ.com – Social Life and Brain Fitness
- AARP – Friends Make You Smart
June Programs – Plan Ahead!
Find out what Brain Matters Programs (PDF) are coming in June.
Revised May 2, 2016