Upcoming program focuses on reducing risk for Dementia through healthy lifestyles

DAYTON — Aging well involves a focus on the mind and body and an upcoming health program will talk about the connections between issues like hypertension and high cholesterol and cognitive decline.

The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County are partnering to put on a free virtual program called Brain Health: A Pathway to Living Well at 6 p.m. on Aug. 19.

Stacy Shern, Chronic Disease Prevention Senior Manager for Public Health, said, it’s a good opportunity to collaborate, to talk about cognitive decline, and to provide information that promotes healthy behaviors like getting the recommended amount of physical activity and ensuring you have a healthy diet.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2021 Facts and Figures report, there are risk factors for dementia that can be changed or modified to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

The 2020 recommendations of The Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care suggest that addressing modifiable risk factors might prevent or delay up to 40 percent of dementia cases. Examples of modifiable risk factors are physical activity, smoking, staying socially and mentally active, blood pressure, and diet.

According to Public Health, in 2019, the prevalence of chronic diseases was significantly higher among Ohio adults reporting cognitive decline than among those not reporting cognitive decline. Rebecca Hall, Program Director for the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter, said that is why it is so important to talk about the impact of chronic diseases and unhealthy behaviors on dementia risk.

“The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter is thrilled to partner with Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County on this program. Public Health’s mission focuses on prevention, promotion, and protection and we feel like this aligns well with one of the key areas of the Association’s mission, which is to drive risk reduction for Alzheimer’s disease and all other dementia. We’re excited about promoting brain health in our community—which is so important—at any age,” Hall said.

To register for the Aug. 19 program, call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900. A link to join the event will be provided at that time.