Research offers some dire predictions for America's aging population, according to Dr. Judy Pierson, clinical psychologist and bereavement counselor for Delaware Hospice. One in every eight older Americans is now living with Alzheimer’s disease. Even more suffer from other forms of dementia. One prediction is that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease will double every 20 years.
That was the bad news. The good news followed for participants at Delaware Hospice’s Lunch Bunch Jan. 4. Pierson offered encouraging facts and tips for how to battle the trend of cognitive decline.
Although a slower rate of processing information is common in normal aging, it is not inevitable. There is much to suggest that accumulated wisdom that comes with life experience more than compensates for normal cognitive decline.
Pierson said many experts and studies indicate dementia can be prevented or at least delayed. In 2010, experts at the National Institutes of Health reported strategies proved to be statistically significant in helping the mind stay sharp. They include physical activity, brain stimulation through new experiences, healthy diet, stress reduction, treating depression, getting a good night’s sleep, setting goals and staying connected to family, friends and community.
Pierson presents Delaware Hospice’s Lunch Bunch Lectures on a monthly basis covering topics focused on quality of life in the areas of self-help, caregiver support, mental health or grief and loss. Lunch Bunch Lectures are open to the public; a $5 fee covers the cost of lunch.
February’s Lunch Bunch topic will be: “Valentine’s Day Blues: When Loved Ones Have Gone Through Death, Divorce, Separation or Breakup,” from noon to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 1.
Registration is required in order to provide lunch for everyone. Register by Wednesday, Jan. 30, by contacting Vicki Costa, association director of the Family Support Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-856-7717.