ARCRA Webinar- June 10, 2021- Brain Health

06/10/2021 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

  • In case you missed it, here is the link to the June 10th ARCRA Webinar on Brain Heath presented in partnership with AARP. It featured Sarah Lenz Lock AARP Senior Vice President of Policy and Brain Health and Executive Director of AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health (see bio below).  The program was a conversational interview format, moderated by David Therkelsen, ARCRA Past President, and former CEO of the St. Paul chapter and interim CEO of the North Central Blood Services Region.  (See photo below of the attendees.).

  • Link:

    Sarah talked about the Six Pillars of Brain Health to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.  They are easily remembered through the acronym BE MORE:

    • Be Social
    • Engage your Brain
    • Manage Stress
    • Ongoing Exercise-150 minutes per week
    • Restorative Sleep-7 to 8 hours per day
    • Eat Right

    Sarah encouraged us to take advantage of a unique offer from AARP during June, Brain Health Awareness Month.  Take the AARP Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment for free (normally $14.00).  The free assessment is a limited-time offer good from June 1-June 30, 2021 for AARP members  The Brain Assessment will provide a personalized plan on how you can maintain your brain health.

    Access Staying Sharp, a brain health program that offers a holistic, life-style based approach to brain health based on science.  The site provides self-paced activities and presents lifestyle choices that can be added to your daily routine.  You can access:

    • Brain Health Challenges-practical, daily skill
    • Information on lifestyle habits that help or hinder brain health
    • Activities that you can easily add to your daily routine
    • Recipes with ingredients that nourish mind and body
    • Games that are challenging and fun

    Staying Sharp provides evidence-based strategies of what works, focusing on lifestyle interventions not pharmaceuticals.  Some of us on the webinar were hopeful maintaining brain health was as simple as increasing the daily number of Crossword and Sudoku puzzles we mastered. While taking on more difficult versions can be challenging and personally satisfying, we were disappointed to hear they will not maintain cognitive function. On the other hand, participating in a challenge that involves social interaction like Words Games with Friends or Scrabble, can help to build up our cognitive reserve.

    Music is also incredibly powerful in stimulating the brain .  We all enjoy listening to music we know from “our generation” because it can provide comfort, calm, and reduce stress. However, to stimulate you brain, challenge it to listen to new and different styles of music-HipHop anyone?

    The social isolation related to COVID-19 protocols have negatively impacted our brain  and physical health   Many of us lost our social interactions, like visits with friends and grandchildren, travel, and our regular routine of attending religious services, weekly bridge games, volunteering, and family and community events and celebrations.  Others put off needed medical visits or treatments and now face more severe and threatening health issues as a result.

    Sarah also referenced the wealth of Brain Health research and resources found online at AARP to help each of us maintain and improve our Brain Health as we age.   Check out these resources on Brain Health:  


  • Photo During the presentation, Dave had attendees cradle their head in their hands.  He reminded us that Brain Health is very important because our brain defines who we are..our personality and what make unique.



BIO -Sarah Lenz LockAARP Senior Vice President of Policy and Brain Health, and Executive Director of the GCBH 

Image previewMs. Lock leads AARP’s policy initiatives on brain health and care for people living with dementia, including serving as the Executive Director of the Global Council on Brain Health, an independent collaborative of scientists, doctors, and policy experts. Ms. Lock also coordinates AARP’s role in the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations.

From 2007 to June 2018 she directed the Office of Policy Development and Integration, where she led the office responsible for the development of AARP’s public policies. Previously, Ms. Lock was Senior Attorney/Manager at AARP Foundation Litigation conducting health care impact litigation on behalf of older persons. She has authored numerous amicus briefs in appellate courts all over the country on health care issues impacting older Americans.

Sarah serves on several boards and is a member of the American Society on Aging, the Gerontological Society of America, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Sarah represents AARP on the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care and serves on the Dementia Friendly America National Council and as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow Program National Advisory Board Member. She formerly served as a Commissioner for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging and on the HHS Administration on Community Living Aging and Cognitive Health Technical Expert Advisory Board.

Prior to joining AARP, Sarah served as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, as a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and at the law firm of Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn. Ms. Lock received a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College, and a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law where she was a member of the law review.

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