Healthy Brains

Aging Today, September/October 2002 | Go to article overview

Healthy Brains


The American Society on Aging's launch of a new online health-promotion project in August, Strategies for Cognitive Vitality, is the latest addition to a website created in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This module addresses how people can maintain and enhance their cognitive health, especially memory, as they age. The site also examines barriers to optimal brain function, including health conditions and detrimental behaviors.

An important feature outlines U.S. national and local programs geared to maintaining and improving memory and cognitive wellness, and provides contact information for program organizers and operators. The project also lists resources and references on the site. Program users can download any section to create a customized manual addressing their community's health needs. Versions are also available as PDFs or Microsoft Word files. Access is available free online at www.asaging.org/cdc. This information program is part of the website Live Well, Live Long: Steps to Better Health, the Internet-based model of strategies for health promotion and disease prevention. For additional information, contact Nancy Ceridwyn at (415) 974-9613 or nan cyc@asaging.org.

Older people who take four or more medications have increased risk for falls. Physicians can help minimize the number of drugs an older person takes by thoroughly reviewing a patient's current medications before prescribing other drugs. In addition, older people-whose metabolism tends to be slower than that of younger adults-are sometimes prescribed inappropriate dosages. Many fall-prevention programs encourage older people to take all the drugs in their medicine cabinet to their primary physician for review.

DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS

NCIPC is sponsoring a number of demonstration projects intended to prevent or minimize falls and injuries:

No More Falls !-The California State Health Department is now implementing and evaluating the No More Falls! program. While conducting yearly health assessments, nurses counsel older adults about their risk for falls and make recommendations for physical activity programs, medication reviews, home assessments and safety modifications, as well as for screening, education and referral for treatment of osteoporosis. …

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