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World Brain Day comes to the senior center

Submitted by
Meg Dickens

The 9th annual World Brain Day is Friday, July 22. This is a time when people worldwide think about the importance of brain health, physically and intellectually, and how to maintain it. Most people are aware that certain deterioration can happen over time, so organizations like the Johnson County Senior Center are constantly thinking of ways to improve and maintain brain health through a mix of physical, member-driven, and mentally stimulating activities.

According to the creators of World Brain Day, the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), this year’s focus is Brain Health for All, with a concentration on awareness, prevention, advocacy, education, and access. Awareness revolves around the importance of the issue. Prevention centers on how many brain diseases can be stopped before they start. Advocacy focuses on the need for global efforts to help create the best results. Education informs the public how to move forward and is the “key to brain health.” Accessibility allows everyone to have “equitable access” to treatment and other resources to gain help when needed. These five points are the basis for making a positive change.

“Together, we can inspire action, strive for better resources and access, and drive policy change through the power of information,” said World Brain Day Co-Chair and Mayo Clinic Emeritus Professor of Neurology Dr. David Dodick. “There is so much more that can be done on the individual, community, and global levels to optimize the health of the brain and minimize the personal, family, and societal impact that brain disorders are causing.”

While World Brain Health Day is a specific time to promote the five points and spread awareness, there are things people can do more regularly to help improve brain health. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care suggests working the following into your routine:

•Learning new skills

•Maintaining social interactions

•Keeping up with or picking up new hobbies

•Following a daily routine

•Improving your sleep schedule

•Knowing where to find resources and additional help

•Staying physically and mentally active

•Eating healthy

The senior center will be holding its own event for World Brain Health Day on Friday, July 22. Staff will be giving out puzzle books to help members stay sharp and share information on the cause. The organization is still in progress as of the time of this article, but Director Katherine Motsinger-Eller says she hopes to host a Senior Brain Games that day as well. For more information on World Brain Health Day, visit wfneurology.org/world-brain-day-background.

The Johnson County Senior Center is a nonprofit organization that serves seniors aged 60 and older. Membership is free, and volunteers of all ages are welcome. For more information, visit johnsoncountyseniorcenter.com.