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Director's Message

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

This month I want to focus on our upcoming brain health fair. Nearly everyone I know has concerns about their memory. We wonder if forgetting a name is normal aging or indication of decline. We hear about all the latest pharmaceutical advances, computer games and other strategies for brain health and wonder if they really work. Many of us vow to do something but never get started.
I met Dr. Cynthia Green a few years ago at the Aging in America conference.  I really liked her energetic style, but even more, her pragmatic approach to brain health.  She concurs with many researchers who say that the best things you can do for brain health are exercise, be socially active, practice good nutrition, and exercise your brain by learning new things. It has to be new and challenging learning, not repeated familiar exercises. 

Dr. Green created the Total Brain Health® Fair to deliver the concepts of better brain fitness to large audiences, providing a direct, hands-on experience to participants.  We’ve been working with her this summer to bring a TBH Fair to Princeton on October 5.  We’ve had some great staff planning sessions, with a lot of excitement about the opportunities we can share with you.  We think the day will be a lot of fun and very informative!  You will leave with several new ideas of things you can do. 

The conference will start off with Dr. Green giving the keynote, introducing the central concepts of brain health.  Then you will have 2 ½ hours to visit various stations which will each feature an activity that you can engage in on a regular basis to maximize brain health.  The stations will include physical, mental and spiritual activities, since we need to engage in all three, and each will have a professional facilitator.  The activities at each station will last 8-10 minutes, so you can visit at least 10 before lunch.  You will also have opportunities during the Fair to talk to representatives from the many area organizations who provide related services.  These organizations support PSRC through this event and make it possible to offer it to you free.  There will be fabulous rewards for everyone who completes 10 stations, including chances for a major prize.  Planning this conference has led me to think about how much we talk about “memory loss” which often starts with forgetting names or recent events.  But there are other aspects of brain functioning that are just as important. One is cognitive processing, which includes the ability to solve problems and to take in and manage new information. What does someone do in a sudden crisis like the power going out?  Another key factor is attention; as we age it is harder to stay focused and to sort the important data from the noise.  Sometimes we don’t recognize problems in these areas because a person (or the spouse) has learned ways to cover and compensate.  As we better understand brain functioning, it becomes clearer that deficits in one area do not imply problems in all three, and research indicates that practicing activities such as those featured in the Fair can make a difference in preserving these abilities.
I’ve also been musing on the spiritual dimension of brain health. Suggested activities include ones that reduce stress (like meditation) and increase social contact (poetry slam), but when I think about spirituality, it also includes elements of faith and values. Whatever a person’s formal religious affiliation (or none), this is where we turn when the going gets tough, where we find hope and resilience, the strength to keep trying.  Our spiritual communities (broadly defined) can be our most reliable support network. That may be hard to represent in a quick-stop station, but should not be left out of a personal brain health practice.    I hope we will see all of you at the Total Brain Health®  Conference on October 5.  Registration and coffee   start at 8:30, and lunch will end at 1:30.  The event is free but please pre-register to assist our planning.    Bring friends of all ages!   

Susan W. Hoskins LCSW


Previous Messages

October 2017: HomeFriends Celebrates 30 Years!

September 2017: Annual Report

July/August 2017: Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

June 2017: Cues & Clues

May 2017: Recharging

April 2017: GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

March 2017: Multi-generational Households

February 2017: No One Ages Well Alone

January 2017: Help at Home

December 2016: Gratitude

November 2016: Family Caregiving

October 2016: Annual Report

September 2016: Corporate Healthcare

July/ August 2016: Strategic Planning

June 2016: Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Part 2 : We Need Your Help

May 2016 Part 1: Going Solo

April 2016: Volunteering

March 2016: Partners In Caring

February 2016: PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016: Hope

December 2015: Gratitude

November 2015: Helicopter Children

October 2015: Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015: Annual Report

July & August 2015: Family and Community

June 2015: A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015: Is 60 the New 40

April 2015: Spring

March 2015: On Being Mortal

February 2015: Mentoring

January 2015: Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014: Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America


March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009


Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003

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