SAN FRANCISCO, April 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Studies show that older adults fear mental decline or memory loss as much as, or more than, other physical ailments — including heart disease and stroke. Yet, according to a recent AARP survey, even though 98 percent of adults over the age of 40 believe that it is important to maintain or improve their brain health, only half are actually taking steps to do so.
That's why the Administration for Community Living (ACL), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is partnering with Stagebridge, the nation's oldest and most renowned theatre company of older adults, to help the nearly half million San Francisco metro area adults ages 60-69 learn about the many ways that they can contribute to their own brain health.
"Our brains change as we get older," said Dr. Jane Tilly, HHS ACL brain health and aging expert. "We want everyone to think about brain health in a whole new way, like we do our hearts or joints. This means taking action to help reduce risks — exercising, eating right, and discovering a new talent, like storytelling."
Along with local partners, HHS will host two learning and storytelling events in the community. The first is a storytelling workshop for older adults 60+, hosted by Stagebridge, on April 17 at 1:00 p.m. PT. It is followed by a storytelling competition on April 30 at 1:00 p.m. PT, with winning entrants gathering on stage to spin their yarns before a live audience and panel of judges. Storytellers will take the stage at Public Works in a two-hour performance hosted by ABC7 sports anchor and former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Mike Shumann. Olga Loya, an award-winning Stagebridge professional storyteller, will kick things off with a story unique to our audience's experiences with aging.
All events are in support of the What is Brain Health? campaign from the HHS ACL. The campaign was developed to help older Americans understand normal signs of aging, recognize signs for concern, and learn about the steps they can take to reduce their risk of cognitive decline.
The What is Brain Health? campaign features a series of nationally televised public service announcements and BrainHealth.gov, an interactive website designed to help people learn how to stay sharp as they age.
To view the PSAs and learn more about the campaign, brain health, and how the brain ages, visit BrainHealth.gov.
About the HHS' Administration for Community Living
All Americans—including people with disabilities and older adults—should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions. ACL works with states, tribal organizations, community service providers, and families to maximize the independence, well-being, and health of older adults and people with disabilities across the lifespan, as well as their families and caregivers.
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SOURCE HHS’ Administration for Community Living