New YMCA course reduces dementia risk | Health

Saving Your Brain (and Body!) helps participants make essential lifestyle changes to preserve their memory and cognitive abilities.

Dementia is a devastating disease that can have devastating effects on a person’s physical, mental, emotional, social and financial well-being. But growing evidence shows that simple lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of developing dementia by up to 70%.

Saving Your Brain (and Your Body!) is an evidence-based, 10-week course developed by physicians and offered exclusively by YMCAs. The goal of Save Your Brain is to reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by providing participants with the information, resources, and support needed to adopt positive lifestyle behaviors.

“While there is no cure for dementia, we have a growing body of evidence that many dementias can be delayed or even prevented,” said Tierney Tanner, program facilitator for Saving Your Brain at Nishna Valley. Family YMCA. “Over the course of 10 weeks, our community program will guide participants through a series of programs that will help them identify risk factors, manage chronic conditions, and make lifestyle changes that can preserve their memory and their cognitive abilities.

Saving Your Brain was developed by Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, Distinguished Iowa Epidemiologist, in tandem with a medical program offered by Dr. Yogesh Shah, geriatrician and chief medical officer at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines. The program draws on medical research conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization, as well as other evidence-based scientific research.

Each week, the course focuses on one of the behavioral risk factors associated with dementia:

• Chronic disease management

Participants hear from subject matter experts, set behavior change goals, and enjoy one-on-one sessions with dietitians, pharmacists, fitness professionals, and wellness coaches. A three-month Y membership is included in the program, and participants who complete the program receive ongoing coaching and support.

Saving Your Brain is designed for people 55 and older who do not have a diagnosis of dementia or significant cognitive decline. Participants should be motivated and have the ability to set goals, modify their behavior and participate fully in class activities. The program is open to Y members and non-members.

Save Your Brain is offered on Mondays from March 7 to May 9. Sessions will be held at the Nishna Valley Family YMCA in Atlantic. The cost of the program is $250.

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