Alzheimer Association gives tips to stay healthy while aging

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MANCHESTER>>A crowd of 30 packed the Manchester Community Library on Thursday afternoon to learn more about healthy living presented by the Alzheimer's Association.

Pamela Beidler from the association broke down the four components of healthy living in a visual presentation accompanied by a workbook. She identified physical health and exercise, diet and nutrition, cognitive activity and social engagement. She also deciphered the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Dementia is caused by different diseases and conditions while Alzheimer's is a common cause of dementia.

"As we all age, we will experience changes with our memory," Beidler said.

Beidler spoke positively about aging and posed the question of what the good things about it are. Some said "people holding the door for us," and others mentioned retirement and grandchildren. Additionally, ached in the body, graying hair and a loss of hearing are things she stated were a natural part of aging, but Alzheimer's is not.

A lot of her tips had to do with establishing habits to be healthier. They included taking short walks and building up momentum, reduce the consumption of fast food, get to bed at the same time every night and engage in regular mental stimulation by reading books or playing games.

"Keep the brain nourished," she said. "What's good for the heart is good for the head."

When talking about different exercises elderly can perform, a woman in the audience said that she goes to the supermarket in the winter and pushes a cart up and down each isle. Others suggested cooking food at home and indulging in water.

The workbook provided space to write down goals in each of the categories described and talked about ways to ease into behavioral changes. It also suggested resources on aging such as literature, websites and phone numbers.

For more information visit alz.org.

Contact Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471.


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