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Alzheimer’s Association to host statewide healthy living symposium in June for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month


RALEIGH — A free seven-part virtual education series will be held in June as part of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month.

The Alzheimer’s Association, Eastern North Carolina Chapter and the Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter will be hosts of the Healthy Brain, Healthy Body, Healthy You Symposium. Anyone interested in learning more tips for healthy aging is welcome to attend. Registrants may attend all sessions or just those that fit best their schedule and interests. Attendees can attend via video/webinar or through a toll-free number. There is no charge to participate, but registration is required. To sign up, visit tinyurl.com/HealthyLivingSymposium or call 1-800-272-3900.

Participants will learn strategies and activities to incorporate into their plans for healthy aging.

Part one: “Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body Overview” will take place on June 7 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging. Cheryl Greenberg, Ed.D., The Age Coach, will be presenting.

Part two: “Mindfulness Matters” will take place June 8 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Mindfulness practices help individuals slow down their racing thoughts, calm their body and mind, and live more mindfully in the present. There is a growing body of research on how mindfulness can help prevent cognitive decline, increase cerebral blood flow, and prevent volume loss in brain mass. Participants will be led in a brief mindfulness exercise and will receive resources to continue mindfulness practices on their own. Alyssa Szymanski Botte, MA, MDiv, LCMHC, psychotherapist at New Day Counseling, will be presenting.

Part three: “Med Instead of Meds: Eating the Mediterranean Way for Better Health” will take place June 9 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. A research analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of death from heart disease and cancer, and may also reduce the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. In this program, participants will learn the seven steps to help them go Med. Carolyn Dunn, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences N.C. State University, will be presenting.

Part four: “Gentle Yoga (seated)” will take place June 9 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Yoga is a mind and body practice that involves movement, meditation, and breathing techniques to promote mental and physical well-being. All of us may benefit from adopting a practice like yoga for our overall health. Individuals living with a dementia diagnosis and their care partners may benefit from sharing this experience and incorporating this practice into their daily routines. This gentle yoga session will focus on practicing from a seated position such as a chair. Kathy Alvarez, registered yoga instructor and founder of Steel Power Yoga, will be presenting.

Part five: “Engaging with Art” will take place June 10 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Participants will experience easy, fun and creative hands-on art activities that are partnered with visualizations, meditation, Qigong movements and breathing exercises. This program is designed for families, caregivers and people with cognitive changes. Participants will learn activities that can be incorporated into engagement for care partners and loved ones to enjoy together. Eileen A. Schwartz, BFA, MAE, Founder/Art Facilitator of Healing Arts for Caregivers, will be presenting.

Part six: “Mediterranean Cooking Demo” will take place June 10 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. While the benefits of a Mediterranean diet are fairly well known, how and what to cook sometimes can be harder to learn. In this cooking demonstration, participants will learn how to prepare a simple stir fry. Participants may observe or join from their own kitchen and cook along. A recipe and shopping list, along with instructions on what to have prepared in advance, will be provided. Geri Bushel, Executive Assistant with the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at NC State University, will be presenting.

Part seven: “Gentle Yoga (mat)” will take place June 11 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Yoga is a mind and body practice that involves movement, meditation, and breathing techniques to promote mental and physical well-being. All of us may benefit from adopting a practice like yoga for our overall health. Individuals living with a dementia diagnosis and their care partners may benefit from sharing this experience and incorporating this practice into their daily routines. This gentle yoga session will focus on practicing from the mat, which means moving between standing and lying positions. Kathy Alvarez, registered yoga instructor and founder of Steel Power Yoga, will be presenting.

“Healthy habits may help to keep our brains healthy as we age and possibly delay the onset of cognitive decline,” said Lisa Roberts, executive director of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter. “Programs like the Healthy Brain, Healthy Body, Healthy You Symposium show that at any age, there are lifestyle habits we can adopt to help maintain or even potentially improve our health.”