Posted on Leave a comment

“Kong simi wei?!” You need to learn dialect. Here’s how.

Dialects are an integral part of Singapore culture: Singlish is a mesh-up of the various dialects and we all know the kopitiam lingo for ordering coffee.

Dialects are an integral part of Singapore culture: Singlish is a mesh-up of the various dialects and we all know the kopitiam lingo for ordering coffee.

However, the younger generations, and I speak for myself too, are often called “bananas” or referred to as people who “jiak kantang” (eat potato) for being “yellow” with our Chinese skin colour but very much Westernised in our thinking and way of life.

Not many of my friends are able to communicate well enough to converse in dialect.

Yet, Chinese dialects are used in our everyday speech, regardless of race, and there are also Indian and Malay dialects that are lesser known today.

This Rice Media article sums up the importance of knowing our dialects quite clearly, that it is so much part of our culture that without knowing how to speak it, we lose footing as a nation. 

However, apart from the seemingly drastic repercussions of not knowing how to speak our dialect, let’s get down to the basics on why we should learn our dialects – communicating with our grandparents.

I live in a three-generation household with my grandmother, and sometimes, communicating with her can be difficult.

Even with my average ability to converse with her in the Hokkien dialect, some things are just easier to say in English.

However, some seniors are not as fortunate, and we find ourselves looking at our phones when visiting our grandparents.

Having no one to communicate with them clearly and effectively can be alienating for our seniors.

Imagine going to a foreign country and being unable to talk to anyone even for a day!

It sounds extreme, but as society slowly slips into speaking only English, seniors who do not know how to will find it difficult to express themselves well, leading to miscommunication.

Being able to properly converse with our grandparents also opens many doors of information.

They hold a wealth of history, not just family stories, but also national history.

Stories of olden day Singapore and living through the Japanese Occupation become alive to us, other than just reading from the Social Studies textbook.

They become a common topic to talk about and we get to learn so much more from them, bridging the generation gap.

Those studying in the healthcare sector are also taking up dialect classes to better communicate with seniors, especially when advising them on their medical needs and health concerns.

Pharmacy students, as well as social work and medicine students are picking up the language especially as our population ages.

Taking care of their health requires us to communicate well with them, and learning dialects will be a great way to start.

Where can I learn them?

Some places to learn dialects include the various clan associations, such as the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan, Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan and inlingua School of Languages offering classes for Hokkien and Teochew.

Viriya Community Services also offers dialect classes through their Learn My Dialect programme, or sign up at learndialect.sg.

There are loads online resources you can use too!

Alternatively, engage your grandparents and ask them to teach you, using our Play Hua Hee card games as flashcards!

It is a great way to get your grandparents involved and spend some quality time with them laughing at all the mistakes you might make. After all, that’s the aim of learning dialects, right?

Play Huahee card games comrise localised food and heritage items with English and Chinese text. The illustrations of popular food and heritage items can be used to strike up a conversation.

Christel Goh, Co-Founder, Play Huahee created a localised game for seniors in Singapore when she noticed certain changes in her grandma.

Christel was struggling to find relevant activities to engage her grandma.

This led to the birth of Play Huahee which aims to create localised games and activities as tools to encourage interaction between caregivers and seniors.

If you want to find out more about Play Huahee card games and the different ways to play, visit here.

_______________________________________

Sarah Rachel Teo is currently studying sociology and religious studies at the National University of Singapore, and her love language is food.

She loves people who give her food and loves giving food to people.

Sarah enjoys deep conversations with people and kneading bread by hand to work out those nonexistent arm muscles.

We create localised games and activities for seniors. It’s time to help them break away from the stress of aging. Buy our games and make them smile here.

Do you want to read more content like this?

* indicates required
Posted on Leave a comment
Posted on Leave a comment

Meet me & play HuaHee?

I am very happy to share with you that I’ve just launched two additional games!

I spent the past year experimenting on game plays and am super happy to push out the fruits of my labour.

I’m also thinking of having a session to share with you my inspiration.  And, you can test out the new Hua Hee games!

Here’s more details about the new games:

Hua Hee Colozzle

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.

The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

This game was inspired by my interactions with my grandmother. She really enjoys colouring.

I introduced colouring as an activity to my grandma a few years ago. Ever since then, she has not stopped colouring.

Colouring is a great therapy for seniors and helps them to exercise hand eye coordination.

My grandma had gone through many different colouring books.

I then wondered if there were other ways to transform the excisting coloured sheets into a game.

This is how HuaHee Colozzle came about.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

It comprises 15 colouring sheets which you can easily tear apart and form puzzles with, after you’re done colouring.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

HuaHee Colozzle is a colouring and puzzle game. It comes with 15 designs of everyday items, aimed at invoking positive memories in seniors.  The designs includes flowers, seashells, leaves, snails, carrots, lemons, mushrooms, butterflies, corn, rabbits, onions, avocados, cheries and frogs.

Rules of Play

  1. Colour the items on each colouring sheet
  2. Tear along the dotted lines
  3. Mix up the pieces and form puzzles with them

 

Hua Hee Puzzle

Hua Hee Puzzle comes in 10 designs of local food and heritage items. Aimed at invoking positive responses among seniors, it comes with brightly coloured designs. Hua Hee Puzzle comprises designs of Clogs, Ba Zhang, Otak Otak, Kueh Tutu, Satay, Tingkat, Trishaw, Curry Puff, Gasing, Teh. Each puzzle design is categorised by its frame colours.

Hua Hee Puzzle comes in 10 designs of local food and heritage items. Aimed at invoking positive responses among seniors, it comes with brightly coloured designs. Hua Hee Puzzle comprises designs of Clogs, Ba Zhang, Otak Otak, Kueh Tutu, Satay, Tingkat, Trishaw, Curry Puff, Gasing, Teh. Each puzzle design is categorised by its frame colours.

Hua Hee Puzzle comes in 10 designs of local food and heritage items.

Aimed at invoking positive responses among seniors, it comes with brightly coloured designs.

Hua Hee Puzzle comprises designs of Clogs, Ba Zhang, Otak Otak, Kueh Tutu, Satay, Tingkat, Trishaw, Curry Puff, Gasing, Teh. Each puzzle design is categorised by its frame colours.

Rules of Play

  1. Choose puzzle set to start with. Each puzzle is differentiated by its frame colour.
  2. Mix up the pieces and encourage your loved ones to form puzzles with them.

Help your loved ones train their brain & bring them on a walk down memory lane.

The designs can also be found in Hua Hee Matchoonary and Uniquely Singapore Colouring.

 

Meet me to play HuaHee?

I would love to be able to share with you the game creation process, my experience creating games, and most importantly, why i believe so much in early intervention.

Will you be keen if i invite you to a short sharing where you can also try out the games yourself?

And, share feedback with me as to what type of games you will like to see in the future?

Let me know if you’re interested! Email me at Christel@playhuahee.com!

 

If you’re interesting at getting the games, click here.

Posted on Leave a comment
Posted on Leave a comment

11 Services for Seniors in Singapore

If you are caring for a senior, you may be wondering how to keep your loved ones occupied.

You may be looking for activities, companionship, caregiving or exercise related services for your loved ones.

I’ve compiled a list of options that you can consider. This is definitely not a comprehensive list.

If you know of any services that you think I should add, please let me know!

1. Activities

Activities for seniors
Colouring for seniors is a great activity

I’ve been to AMKFSC’s Senior Activity Hub in Punggol with my grandma. It is quite a positive experience. They have a weekly schedule of activities that range from afternoon exercises, karaoke to arts and craft.

I’m not too sure if all the Senior Activity Centres are open to everyone though? According to Singapore Silver Pages, you have to meet their eligibity criteria and apply first.

There’s too many senior activity centres that it’s impossible to list them all. But, you can definitely look for one near you with the help of Google.

Some of the Senior Activity Centres that you can consider are Hovi Care  and SASCO.

2. Exercise

Exercise gyms, services and programmes for seniors in Singapore.
Exercise gyms, services and programmes for seniors in Singapore.

There are a few exercise options for seniors.

Enabling Village ActiveSG Gym

Extracted from their site — This space was set up by SG Enable, a government-established body that is dedicated to enabling people with disabilities. This is the first inclusive gym where people with disabilities, seniors and the able-bodied can come together to work out and participate in selected sports programmes together.

It is near Redhill MRT station.

ASPIRE 55

Extracted from their site — The ASPIRE55 Introduction Programme is designed to help you improve on your muscle strength and balance after 10 weeks. Over 150 older adults have graduated to date. You will experience our small group strength training programme twice a week, led by an ASPIRE55 trainer. Each week, learn new exercises that will assist you with falls prevention, improvement of balance and muscles strength.

Address:

1 Commonwealth Lane #08-34
One Commonwealth
Singapore 149544

Gym Tonic

I’m not exactly sure how Gym Tonic works but I read about it in the news previously.

They offer strength training for seniors using gym equipment (I think). I believe that they are still in the pilot phases but you can still sign up if you’re keen.

 

One of our friends in our Fighting Dementia group shared that she tried  silver circle active sg gym, enabling village active sg gyms and ASPIRE 55. She prefers ASPIRE 55  even though it has  a higher price point. Because, the trainers are extremely encourging and hands on.

Her mother works on core mobility, stretching and exercising smaller muscle groups during these sessions. They are important muscles becuse they support the larger muscles.

It’s a good mix of machine, stretching and very light weights. Cardio wise, they will do up a health check and advise accordingly.

3. Befriending & Care Support

Seniors need to feel a sense of belonging is the third highest in the Maslow's hierrachy of needs, after safety and phsyological.
Seniors need to feel a sense of belonging.

If your loved ones require companionship, caregiving, nursing or physiotherapy at home, you can engage services via online sites such as JagaMe or Homage.

If you’re looking for  active rehabilitation, community nursing, and personalised dementia care, you can check out NTUC Silver Circle.

There’s also organisations like AWWA, TOUCH Community Services, NTUC Health and Home Nursing Foundation that provide care in varied forms for seniors.

There’s also Senior Day Care options that range from $900 to $1500 monthly and provide exercise, personal care and social and recreational activities. You can apply here.

4. Seniors with dementia

Five big insights into alzheimers/ dementia?
Five big insights into alzheimers/ dementia?

Seniors with dementia can try out Alzheimers’ Dementia Association’s Families of Wisdom programme which is a small group programme where facilities will engage caregivers and seniors in activities.

Seniors are broken into small groups based on the severity of their condition, and their various interests.

Montessori for Dementia Care also offers sessions for seniors to exercise their memory, staying creative, and purposefully active with the goal of continuing to learn and live a life of dignity.

They have an Activity Centre, providing daily 3-hour sessions with diverse activities, with group or individualised sessions. Activities like cooking, music, arts and crafts, exercise, and conversation offer a diverse and social experience.

AWWA Dementia Day Care also offers a programme that aims to help seniors in slowing down the progression of the condition.

 

I believe that there are many more services out there? And, I may have barely scratched the surface.

But, the objective is really to list some available services out there in case you’re looking for something.

I’ve also heard about the red tape involved in getting seniors placed in some of these programmes.

So, I guess if you’re waiting too long to hear back from one service provider, maybe you can try other services?

Let me know if I got anything wrong of if you have anything that you want to share.

Do you want FREE activities for seniors? Leave your email address and we will send them to you.






Posted on Leave a comment
Posted on Leave a comment

New Launch: Drawing and Colouring PDF

This 9 page PDF comprises seven colouring sheets of the Kueh Lapis, Gasing, Cha Kiak, Ketupat, Png Kueh, Durian and Ba Zhang. Colouring is a great activity for mental and emotional health. It is even more meaningful when you get to colour items that you recognise

I’ve just launched two activities which are in PDF format.

This is the first time that I’ve put out something in PDF.

And, I’m happy to hear from you on this.

Beyond Card Games

I hope to continue creating activities for seniors. But, I guess it may take a different shape and form beyond a deck of cards.

I do think that card games are great in the way that they are able to bring people together and interact face to face.

It is an easily accessible tool for large groups.

You can’t simply hand an ipad to every senior if you have a big event with large communities involved.

Visually Appealing Activities

I want to create activities that are visually appealing.

I try to include icons of everyday things that are familiar to us.

Hopefully, they can invoke positive memories among seniors and trigger some form of response from them.

1. Uniquely Singapore Colouring

This 9 page PDF comprises seven colouring sheets of the Kueh Lapis, Gasing, Cha Kiak, Ketupat, Png Kueh, Durian and Ba Zhang. Colouring is a great activity for mental and emotional health. It is even more meaningful when you get to colour items that you recognise

SALE PRICE: $5

Colouring is a great activity for mental and emotional health.

It is even more meaningful when you get to colour items that you recognise.

This 9 page PDF comprises seven colouring sheets of the Kueh Lapis, Gasing, Cha Kiak, Ketupat, Png Kueh, Durian and Ba Zhang.

The sheets are partially coloured (as indicated on the cover) so that it gives the participant an idea of the intended colour of the item.

2. Step by Step Drawing

Step by Step Sketch for Seniors

SALE PRICE: $3

I was inspired by one of the pages in my grandma ‘s colouring book.

It was an activity that guided people through the steps to draw a particular item. I tried to lead her in this activity.

When we were doing the activity, I realised that it was really quite challenging. It required a ton of hand eye coordination.

So, I created the Step by Step Sketch Activity. It is a The 11 page downloadable PDF comprises 5 exercises.

It guides you and your loved ones to complete the drawing of the orange, seashell, leaf, flower and mushroom in a step by step way.

This is a great activity for seniors who love to draw. For seniors who can’t draw or has issues gripping a pen, you can engage them by getting them to spot the difference between the pictures.

Each picture is a progressive development from the previous, thus, there would be differences between the pictures.

I’m happy to get feedback on whether I should continue in this direction.

These products are currently on sale at $5 and $3 respectively. Check them out here!

Posted on Leave a comment
Posted on Leave a comment

Early Intervention: Does Hua Hee help your grandma?

After experiencing the pain of dementia at home, Christel Goh creates games for people and communities to engage seniors.

When i share with others about my card games, many often ask, “So, your grandma is better now because of your card games?”

To which, I would reply that my family does many different things, in the area of early intervention.

In this blog post, I share about the various lifestyle interventions — food, activities, exercise and social inclusion.

Through all of these, we’ve seen an extremely positive change in my grandma.

Here’s some context:

Early Warning Signs of Dementia

My grandma showed early warning signs of dementia two years ago. She got agressive. She had signs of short term memory loss and suspicion.

This was unsual because she’s usually very sharp and is very mild mannered. But, my mother was very determined not to let her “get” it.

My grandfather had dementia more than five years ago. It was a time where there was much less knowledge/support on the condition in Singapore.

Lots of Research

My mum did extensive research on dementia — from understanding the condition, how it occurs, how to prevent and slow it down.

While many people would say that it’s impossible to reverse the condition of dementia, we’ve seen vast improvement in my grandma. Although, we’ve never gotten her diagnosed in the first place.

The positive change in her memory, behaviour and temperamant shows us that early intervention is really important.

I feel that many people in time starved cities like Singapore dont have the time to watch for behavioural changes in their loved ones, much less embark on early intervention.

People may only see the need to intervene when the symptoms of a condition become servere. By then, it may be too late? I don’t know.

Here’s what my family does for my grandma:

1. Food

Coconut oil is great for persons with dementia or show early warning signs of dementia
Coconut oil is great for persons with dementia or people who show early warning signs of dementia. 

My mum is very health conscious so my grandma eats homecooked food everyday.

My family also hardly eats rice so we limit her rice intake.

Even when she does eat rice, our rice at home is a mix of white, brown rice and barley.

My mum is also against processed food so we don’t really eat things like luncheon meat and spam. (haha)

According to my mum, if whatever you’re eating doesnt have a face, it is processed.

We also take loads of spices in our food like tumeric, cinnmon etc. Tumeric is one of those things that appears to be good for the brain.

My mum also read about the benefits of coconut oil for the brain. Since then, my grandma religiously takes  a spoonful of coconut oil everyday.

While there isn’t sufficient research to back the benefits of coconut oil, there are many stories of it benefiting others online.

We’ve also seen a significant change in her memory and disposition ever since we got her started on coconut oil.

You can get coconut oil at a DISCOUNTED PRICE HERE.

2. Activities

We thought about what would be able to engage her or keep her occupied.

During the daytime, both my parents are at work and if we didn’t find things to engage her with, she would just stare at the tv screen or spend her time sleeping.

One day I brought home the Secret Garden colouring book. She got really intrigued by it.

She spent a long time colouring when we got her the book.

Over the next few days, she stopped staring at the TV screen. She would be colouring all day and night.

To date, she’s gone through many colouring books. We now have stacks and stacks of her coloured books.

Helping her find an activity that she enjoys and keeping her occupied has been one of the best things ever.

Some people have told me that it could be because when i was little, she would be colouring with me.

So, it could be an activity that brings back positive memories.

I’m currently trying to find other ways to engage her so she is continuously exposed to different things and is kept engaged. But,she doesnt seem to be interested in other things. I’ve tried crossword puzzles, drawing etc.

If you’re looking for activities to engage seniors, you can check my games out HERE.

3. Exercise

Last year, she fell down at home a few times. Those were scary experiences. We struggled with getting her off the floor . Thank God she wasnt hurt in those episodes.

Those were signs that she needed to gain strength in her legs. My mum then found some chair exercises off the internet. We got her to go to the psyiotherapist who directed us to those exercises too.

Getting up from a chair is an exercise that she is supposed to do three sessions a day (10 times at each session).

At first, she really struggled to get up and took quite a few seconds trying to get up from the chair.  After doing it regularly, she has progressed quite well. She can now get up without supporting herself with her hands.

The speed at which she gets up from the chair has also increased quite a bit. This shows that she is much stronger in her legs now.

I shared about how consistent exercise helped her gain strength in her legs previously.

4. Social Inclusion

Photo by Alex Boyd on Unsplash

What she gains out of 2 & 3 is social inclusion. It has been reported that hearing loss can lead to dementia and it’s easy to imagine why.

We often have to speak very loudly, slowly and repeat ourselves multiple times for my grandma to hear us.

You can imagine a setting such as dinner – everyone is in the midst of a conversation, but the senior who is hearing impaired is physically present but he or she can’t get involved because they can’t hear.

The need to feel a sense of belonging is the third highest in the Maslow’s hierrachy of needs, after safety and phsyological needs. If they can’t get involved, they can’t feel like they belong.

My mum also gets her to walk around the house everyday after dinner. She always sings and prays with my grandma regularly. We also try to bring her out for walks whenever we can. She’s not very mobile so she cant leave home on her own.

But, she’s very sociable by nature and can strike up a conversation with literally, anyone.

The simple activity of going down to the park gives her much needed sunshine, fresh air and conversations with neighbours.

She also gets to play with pet dogs if the neighbours bring them down.

 

These are simple everyday things to do. But, many times its really about discipline and commitment. What works for us, may not work for you… I encourage you to just keep trying different things. You may only find something that works on your 99th try.

I started on a Preventing Dementia Mooc and you can read my learnings here and here

Do you want FREE activities for seniors? Leave your email address and we will send them to you.






Posted on Leave a comment
Posted on Leave a comment

Seven resources for people caring for seniors

Seven resources for people caring for seniors

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

If you are caring for a senior or a loved one, you probably have many unanswered questions.

Questions that come to you in the middle of the night. You wonder if anyone goes through the same challenges as you.

If other caregivers also encounter the problem of having the smell of pee everywhere in the home. Or, if they struggle to respond when their loved ones start hallucinating.

This is why I put together a list of seven resources for caregivers.

Since I started the Fighting Dementia Facebook Group,  I’m always on the look out for caregiver tips, resources and various things to share in the group.

Here’s a compilation of some of the sites that I follow. I hope they help you on this journey too.

  1. Daily Caring

This is probably my favourite resource for seniors because it’s really informative. It’s targeted at the family caregiver.

You can subscribe to their mailing list and they will send you weekly (I think) emails. They cover a wide range of topics. In their email, they focus on a topic for the week, and include other recommended readings.

Here are examples of their recommended readings.

Recommended reading:

  • 4 Tips for Managing Multiple Health Conditions
  • 7 Tips for Helping Seniors at the Doctor’s: Being a Health Advocate
  • 10 Medications Seniors Should Avoid Taking
  • How to Approach Someone with Dementia: 6 Tips for a Positive Care Experience [Video]
  • Celebrate Father’s Day with 18 Gifts and Activities for Seniors

2. Golden Carers

Golden Carers offers activities for seniors. They have a list of free activities and there is also a subscription fee where you can pay for more activities. But, many of their activities are quite targeted at the western audience. So, they may or may not be relevant for seniors in Asia.

3. Activities for Seniors Facebook Group

This is a group created by the people who started the Golden Carers. There seem to be many individuals who work at senior facilities. They share the activities that they organise at their centres. Some of them have really creative activities.

It is also quite interesting to see the effort that goes into creating these experiences for seniors. It is a closed group so you have to request for access into the group.

4. Alzheimers and Dementia Caregiver Support Facebook Group

This is quite a big group of caregivers to loved ones with dementia. Most of the caregivers in the group are from America. They are very open about their sharing and it can get quite emotional. But, many people in the group are also very encouraging and comforting.

Many of them seem to be dealing with loved ones in the moderate to severe stages of dementia. If you’re looking for an outlet to share your struggles, you can consider joining the group.

5. Caregivers Connect Facebook Page

Caregivers Connect is a Facebook page set up by AWWA. It shares news, stories and tips for caregivers.  They share content very regularly. And, much of the content is relevant to the Singapore audience. This is a great page to follow for updates in Singapore related to caregivers.

6. Project We Forgot

Project We Forgot shares stories of caregivers to persons with dementia. Many of these stories are inspirational.

Project We Forgot shares stories of caregivers to persons with dementia. Many of these stories are inspirational. They depict the dedication and sacrifice that caregivers have to make for their loved ones. They also organise sessions for caregivers in Singapore to come together.

7. ProjectCare

ProjectCare shares caregiver stories, tips and tricks and resources like How to videos. Its a resource for seniors.
ProjectCare shares caregiver stories, tips and tricks and resources like How to videos. Its a resource for seniors.

I just found out about Project Care recently. It’s managed by the same person who also runs Ageless Online. They share caregiver stories, tips and tricks and resources like How to videos.

Do you want FREE activities for seniors? Leave your email address and we will send them to you.






Posted on Leave a comment
Posted on Leave a comment

Good for the Brain: 17 insights from Preventing Dementia Mooc

What is good for the brain? 17 quick lessons from the Preventing Dementia Mooc. Aerobics, strength training and even alcohol!

Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

I blogged last week on the 9 Things I learnt from the Preventing Dementia Mooc where I took on the first module. Today’s post is on the second module which essentially covers what’s good for the brain.

The second module goes abit more indepth into the various prevention measures such as exercise, health foods, smoking etc.

These have been reported and discussed as being good for the brain. They are further validated in the Preventing Dementia Mooc.

After completing the module, the message that I got was one that seems to debunk the benefits of some of these health foods.

The lessons that discusses a particular health food like Coconut Oil or Gingko Biloba conclude with, “There is no conclusive evidence that it would prevent/slow down the progression of dementia.” I understand that it may take a longer time for research to produce comprehensive data.

And, it’s probably important for the professors to advise people against going crazy and swallowing Coconut oil or Gingko by the bottle.

But, Coconut oil has worked incredibly well for my grandma.

What’s good for the brain? And, what’s not?

  1. Type two diabetes is associated with a two fold increase in risk for dementia.
  2. Annually 31% of people with Type 1 Diabetes have low blood sugar episodes. Any more than 4 episodes in a year can be associated with a very high risk of cognitive impairment (slowing of the brain).
  3. Insulin resistance (an effect of Type 1 Diabetes) might be involved in the development of beta-amalyoid plaques( a cause of dementia).
  4. Effects of Type 2 diabetes on the brain can be a result of various causes – vascular disease and neuro degeneration.
  5. It is not clear whether everyone with Type 2 diabetes will get dementia.
  6. There is more evidence to show that physical activity has a positive impact on frontal lobe functions such as processing speed as compared to functions like memory. Findings are more varied in the latter.
  7. The type of activity must be vigorous enough to have increased heart beat and intense breathing to have positive effects on cognitive health.
  8. The combination of aerobic and strength training is the best for cognitive health.
  9. It is unclear if low impact exercise such as balancing, relaxation or yoga help cognitive function.
  10. Physical activity with cognitive tasks like dancing or taichi which requires you to remember steps may have additional benefits
  11. It is never too late to start exercising and see benefits even in individuals with mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
  12. Smoking in older adults increase the risk of dementia by 70%.
  13. In a study on people who went through a smoking cessation programme, they found that people who gave up smoking have less cognitive decline.
  14. People who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have a lower risk of developing dementia compared to those who don’t drink any alcohol at all.
  15. Excessive drinking over many years, and regular episodes of binge drinking, are associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. It’s all about moderation.
  16. Gingko Biloba – Gingko may have anti inflamatory properties and increase blood flow to the brain. But, there is no consistent data that it will help persons with dementia.
  17. Midlife hypertension and midlife obesity is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimers’ disease.

These are lessons from the May 2018 Preventing Dementia MOOC by Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. Did you do the MOOC? Let me know.

Do you want FREE activities for seniors? Leave your email address and we will send them to you.






Posted on Leave a comment