As director of senior housing for The Calida Group in Las Vegas, Thomas Jurbala recently worked toward the development of the new 121-bed Horizon Ridge Rehabilitation Center. In addition to developing assisted living facilities throughout Las Vegas, Jurbala is an active supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Beyond fund-raising and advocating for resources at the state and federal level, the Alzheimer’s Association promotes a variety of habits spanning four categories as proactive measures to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. The four main categories are physical health and exercise, cognitive activity, social engagement, and diet and nutrition and, on its website, the non-profit organization offers a number of examples of each.
Formal classroom-based education is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy brain, while other mentally-challenging activities such as word-based strategy games or high-level reading material can help. In regard to social engagement, simply joining a volunteer group or a book club can reduce the risk of depression. Better yet, joining a walking group can fill the need for social engagement and physical activity. Finally, two diets in particular have shown to reduce the risk of dementia and heart disease, one of which is heavy in whole grains and poultry, while the other limits red meat and emphasizes fruit, vegetables, and nuts.
For a complete list of proactive mental health measures, visit www.alz.org/brain-health/brain_health_overview.asp.