Alzheimer’s expert gives talk in Esky

ESCANABA — The regional director of the Greater Michigan Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Jake Bilodeau, was in Escanaba June 5 to give a presentation at the Gary Abrahamson, Jr. Memory Care Center. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

Bilodeau was the guest speaker of the month at the Memory Care Center, located at 2635 1st Ave. S., Escanaba. In partnership with Community Action Adult Day Services Program, the Memory Care Center serves individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia-related illnesses. The center also hosts monthly guest speakers like Bilodeau to meet the needs of many caregivers and others seeking help in the community.

Bilodeau’s presentation, entitled “Healthy living for your brain and body,” focused on listing strategies people can use to age well in the following four areas: physical health and exercise, diet and nutrition, cognitive activity, and social engagement.

“This presentation is meant to share strategies and tools to help keep our brains healthy,” Bilodeau said. “The vision of the Alzheimer’s Association is a lofty one: “We envision a world without Alzheimer’s disease.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common causes of dementia and affects millions of Americans.

Bilodeau shared the following tips for optimal brain health: stay physically active, get adequate sleep, stop smoking, avoid excess alcohol, avoid head injury, manage stress, treat depression and visit your doctor regularly. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the heart and brain are interrelated; therefore, what you do to protect your heart can also help your brain continue to operate at its best.

Conversely, known risks for Alzheimer’s disease include age, genetics, head injury, cardiovascular factors and fewer years of formal education. Bilodeau also noted that although therapies for Alzheimer’s can treat symptoms, they cannot cure, prevent or even slow the disease progression.

Bilodeau’s presentation included an open discussion, in which he asked the group if they had any questions or comments on the subject. Sister Dorothea Jang of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres was present and shared her thoughts during the discussion portion of the presentation.

Bilodeau says he frequently presents the healthy living for your brain and body talk at various locations around the U.P., including senior centers, skilled nursing centers, assisted living homes, and other medical facilities.

For more information on Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, visit https://alz.org/, or call 1-800-272-3900.


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