The City of Malibu hosted a healthy brain habits lecture that was given by Alzheimer’s Los Angeles Community Education Director Roxy Kirakosyan. Participants were able to leave the lecture with information on improving one’s brain health and reducing the risk of dementia.
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering, and reasoning. Kirakosyan shared lifestyle tips to keep your brain healthy, such as eating well, staying active, getting at least seven hours of sleep, staying social with family and friends, reducing stress, and going to the doctors for regular checkups.
Kirakosyan also educated the participants about age-related changes in memory and thinking.
“Our brains are aging and changing just like the rest of our bodies, our brains may process more information more slowly, but the key is here it’s not enough to interfere with your daily life,” Kirakosyan said. “When it starts to interfere with your daily life, check in with yourself and what you’re feeling and what you’re going through.”
Participants asked Kirakosyan if there is any medication that can prevent dementia, and while there isn’t, Kirakosyan said there are some ways you can control it, such as preventing head injuries and lifestyle habits.
“I want to emphasize that it is not a consequence of aging, serious memory loss is not a normal part of aging, Alzheimer’s and dementia are not a normal part of aging. The biggest risk factor is age, and our risk increases as we get older,” Kirakosyan said. “So if you’re at 65 (years of age), your risk does increase, and then once you get to 85, your risk does double, and unfortunately, we cannot control our age.”
Kirakosyan said Alzheimer’s disease is higher in women than men. Kirakosyan said one in three women in Latino communities are affected by some form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Kirakosyan suggested drinking alcohol and caffeine in moderation to maintain healthy habits. Exercise is also a way to boost your heart rate; Kirakosyan said any kind of movement that gets your heart rate up is beneficial.
“Try to be creative, walk to the store if you can instead of driving, and try to do it 30 minutes every single day; you have to be consistent,” Kirakosyan said.
In addition to living a healthier lifestyle, Kirakosyan provided a list of healthy food options that are filled with nutritious antioxidants, such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
Kirakosyan hopes to bring more community education workshops and classes to Malibu.
“We believe that education is empowerment, and we want people to feel healthier and happier to ultimately improve their quality of life, and presentations like the Healthy Brain Habits that we did today, do exactly just that,” Kirakosyan said. “We provide this information and education in hopes that people would implement healthy behavior changes in their daily lives and to be proactive and to do things that are going to be beneficial for their overall body and for their overall brain health.”
For more information on Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, visit alzheimersLA.org.