This year the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) partnered with POWH Aged Care Psychiatry to deliver a public forum to address some of the issues of the ageing brain and promote maintenance of the brain for a healthier life.
Over 530 people packed the auditorium at The Juniors in Kingsford on 13 November 2013 to hear talks covering a range of strategies for reducing the risk associated with memory loss and dementia. Aptly entitled Brain Maintenance for a Healthier Life, the forum emphasised the modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias and covered the significance of a healthy lifestyle to assist in preventing age-related cognitive disorders.
“With dementia set to be the biggest cause of disease burden by 2016 it was wonderful to see such a vast number of seniors attending this year’s forum on brain health,” Co-Director of CHeBA Professor Henry Brodaty said. “Part of our goal was to increase understanding amongst seniors that it is never too early nor too late to commence preventative strategies to reduce one’s risk of cognitive decline.”
Sponsored by Genworth, Waverley Council, NSW Health and NSW Ageing Disability and Home Care, the public forum was opened by Dr Murray Wright, Director of SESLHD Mental Health Services, and 2013 Australian of the Year and National President of Alzheimer’s Australia gave a warm welcoming address by video; encouraging everyone to adopt CHeBA’s mantra: Healthy Brains. Positive Ageing.
This was followed by a very moving presentation from CHeBA’s official Ambassador PJ Lane, who took everyone through the journey of his father, Don Lane’s, battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The program included educational presentations by Professor Brodaty on Prevention and Treatment, University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Sharon Naismith on the importance of Exercise and Sleep, and Walkley-award winner and SMH columnist Paula Goodyer about the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet. Director of Aged Care Psychiatry Service, Professor Brian Draper warned that Medication Can Be Bad for Your Memory. All presentations are accessible via the Aged Care Psychiatry Service’s website.
Part of the message of the public forum was that while ageing is inevitable, losing our mental capacity is not.
“Living to 100 or more may be possible, but what we need to ensure is thatwe’re adding life to our years, not just years to our life,” says Professor Brodaty.
CHeBA will be holding a public forum at UNSW Australia on 24 May 2014. For more information on CHeBA's public forums please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 9382 3398.
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