Keeping Your Brain Sharp!

As we get older, it is crucial to not only place an emphasis on maintaining our physical health, but we also have to take care of our cognitive health as well. Cognitive health is essential for performing daily tasks and activities, so here are five ways you can improve your memory and maintain overall brain function:

  1. Play Thinking Games: Your brain is a muscle and, like any other muscle, it needs to be trained to stay strong! Training your brain can help improve memory and keep you sharper for longer periods of time by creating “cognitive reserves.” These reserves may help the brain become more adaptable in some mental functions so it can compensate for age-related brain changes and health conditions that affect the brain.
  2.  Manage Stress: Stress is a natural part of life, but too much can have a negative impact on your physical and cognitive health. Chronic stress can change the brain, affect memory, and increase the risk for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. To help manage stress, try relaxation techniques, writing in a journal or light exercise.
  3. Challenge Your Memory: Regularly engaging in memory exercises can help improve cognitive performance and boost short- and long-term recall. Try to memorize a list or a popular song and test yourself an hour later to see how much you got right!
  4. Engage in Meaningful Hobbies: Doing what you love isn’t only emotionally beneficial, but it helps your brain function as well! Connecting with others who enjoy the same hobbies as you can keep your brain active and help you feel less isolated and more engaged with the world around you.
  5. Let’s Get Physical!: Taking care of your physical health is crucial to overall brain health. Take a walk outside, do some light yoga, or take a bike ride and release the endorphins that help stimulate old network connections.

As simple as these activities may be, they are all powerful ways to protect your brain, keep the mind active, and may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s-related cognitive impairment and dementia.

Summer Storm Preparation

Summer weather can be unpredictable, which means a sunny day can turn into a storm quicker than you can say, “Did I just feel a raindrop?” Here are some tips for staying safe when the weather turns bad and how you can protect yourself and your home:

  1. If you hear thunder, lightning is close behind. Seek indoor shelter as quickly as possible and stay away from objects that conduct electricity, such as metal fences or water. 
  2. Make sure your house is stocked with non-perishable foods, bottled water, flashlights and a first aid kit. It’s a good idea to store these all year round, but when storm season is coming up, check to make sure that you have everything so that you’re the most prepared you can be.
  3. Part of ensuring your safety inside is limiting the amount of potential hazards in your yard. Be sure to trim back dead or old tree branches to avoid breakage, and secure any loose items around the yard that can be uprooted by substantial winds. 
  4. Once the storm has settled, you still need to be aware of potential dangers. Do not drive through any flooded roadways, as you cannot predict how deep the water may be and may end up stranded. Also, be sure to keep clear of areas that have been hit badly by the storm. There is still the risk of falling debris.

One Step Closer to Normalcy: Updated COVID-19 Testing Requirements

There is a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to getting tested for COVID-19. On July 1st, 2021, the New York State Department of Health announced that operators and administrators of adult care facilities (ACFs) are no longer required to test or arrange for the routine testing of personnel for COVID-19, including employees, contract staff, medical staff, operators and administrators, irrespective of the individual’s vaccination status. 

According to the Department of Health, facilities should still continue to screen all staff during each shift, each resident daily and all persons entering the facility, including vendors, volunteers, and visitors, for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals should be encouraged to wear a face mask or face covering. 

McPeak’s is committed to the health and well-being of its residents and will continue to adhere to these regulations for COVID safety; however, this update will give us more freedom in allowing visits from families and friends so our residents can continue to experience a fulfilling social life while at our facility. 

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