How we cope with stress is an important factor in our mental well-being which, in turn, impacts our brain health as we age. How we personally view getting older is also related. Adults who look at aging positively report higher mental well-being scores, says a new survey.
For family caregivers, the holidays can be a time of added stress and chaos, but they can also be a time of joy — and humor. Catherine, a family caregiver for her sister Lisa, shares:
En español | What are you doing to keep your brain healthy? When it comes to our brain health,” we Latinos are not always so diligent. We can easily discuss diabetes, how to lower our cholesterol or how to relieve the pain of arthritis inherited from our grandmother. We diet to lose weight for our daughter’s upcoming wedding, we walk to find a cure for our friend’s cancer; but even though we know it’s important to keep our minds healthy, we don't always take steps to slow or prevent the cognitive diseases that can develop over time.
Respite is one of the most pressing needs of families and friends who take on a caregiving role. The need for caregiver supportive services — including respite care — is only going to rise as the U.S. population ages.
En español | An AARP survey on brain health has found a significant gap between what people believe is good for their brains and what they actually do to preserve their cognitive function. The survey, of more than 1,500 adults over age 40, found that although 98 percent said maintaining and improving brain health was very or somewhat important, only about half are participating in activities — such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and reducing stress — that have been shown to protect cognitive health. Nearly 4 in 10 surveyed also said they have noticed a decline in their ability to remember things over the past five years.
October at colleges and universities may evoke images of falling leaves and football games, but midsemester exams bring a spike in anxiety, the No. 1 mental health problem on campuses.
Like so many other family caregivers, I often place my own care on the back burner because I’m focused on the immediate needs of those I’m caring for. But that self-neglect eventually catches up with me — sometimes dramatically. I share one eye-opening experience in my new book, Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving. An excerpt:
The economic value of the nation’s family caregivers’ unpaid work is an estimated $470 billion a year — an amount about equal to the annual sales of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company.
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