“I’ve spent several years working with older people and people with dementia, hearing their stories, their wisdom and their fears. I’ve learned that there is so much that we can do when we’re young to ensure a happy and healthy life when we are older. I’m originally from Adelaide, and I love being fit and living healthy. But it hasn’t always been that way! I spent many years being very overweight and unhappy, until I realised that my mental and physical health relied on daily physical activity and a healthy diet.
I moved to Sydney in early 2014 to start my PhD project in younger onset dementia. Essentially, my project aims to learn more about modifiable risk factors for dementia in mid-life. Why do some people develop dementia earlier than others? So much evidence is emerging to suggest that a healthy lifestyle in your 20’s and 30’s can delay or even prevent the onset of dementia, and I definitely like to practice what I preach!
Being a Fitness Ambassador for CHeBA is a real honour. I am committed to the message that looking after brain health starts from early life, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle go far beyond the immediate. Beyond that, the people I have worked with have taught me so much and brought so much joy to my life, I am so excited to be raising money towards improving our knowledge of what it means to age positively and healthily."
What does "Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing" mean to me?
"Positive ageing is about so much more than the time after we retire, and is also more than just exercise and diet. Positive ageing is a lifespan task: learning as much as we can, building a nourishing network of relationships, indulging in the things we love and resting whenever we need to."
Monica is working on her PhD project in younger onset dementia, which aims to learn more about modifiable risk factors for dementia in mid-life. In 2015, Monica ran the Barossa Half Marathon in May, the Sydney Harbour 10k and the Sutherland to Surf 14km in July, the City 2 Surf in August and the Blackmores Marathon in Sepember. Phew! Get behind Monica & support her to raise funds and awareness for healthy brain ageing.