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Raising awareness

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September 22, 2017

Cooinda resident painters Terry Putt, Alec Flack, Joan Wilson, Geoff Harris and Sister Anne.

Cooinda Aged Care is holding a walk to raise awareness of the impact dementia has on Benalla at the Lakeside walking track on Friday, September 22.

The ‘‘Walk and Wake Up to Dementia’’ event aims to raise funds for Cooinda’s dementia activities program and Alzheimers Australia.

The walk will begin at the Botanical Gardens at 11am and costs $5 per walker, which includes a sausage from the barbecue.

Children and students are asked to give a gold coin donation.

Dementia is the second highest cause of death in Australia and there are more than 400000 Australians living with the condition.

Diagnosis can be difficult and can take many months or even years to be confirmed.

While the chance of dementia is higher after the age of 65, people as young as 30 are being diagnosed.

Dementia comes at a great cost to the community, not only financially but also in the sense of grief and loss for the affected person, their family and their friends.

The term dementia is used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses, which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning and memory.

Dementia can take many forms, including Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy Body disease.

The condition also affects carers, as everyday tasks, such as eating, showering, driving and a variety of social skills require assistance.

While there may be no real way of preventing dementia, scientific research suggests that leading a brain-healthy life can reduce a person’s risk of developing it.

To lead a brain-healthy life you need to do things that look after your brain, your body and your heart and the earlier you start, the better.

Alzheimer’s Australia advise five steps to keep your brain healthy:

●Look after your heart — What is good for your heart is also good for your brain;

●Be physically active — Get walking and regularly undertake physical activity;

●Mentally challenge your brain — read, practice a musical instrument or a try to learn a new language;

●Follow a healthy diet — Cut out take-away and processed foods, try organic, natural produce; and

●Enjoy social activities — Join a club, meet with friends, challenge your brain.

If you are concerned about your memory, you should discuss it with a doctor as soon as possible.

Cooinda Aged Care has been busy this month and as well as organising the walk for dementia awareness they have been involved in a project to honour Remembrance Day on November 11.

That project has seen residents create beautiful hand-painted wooden poppies, which are on sale at Cooinda’s reception for $8 each, with all proceeds going to Cooinda’s Health and Wellbeing Program.

You can register to take part in the ‘‘Walk and Wake Up to Dementia’’ event by phoning Cooinda on 57613300 or emailing admin@cooinda.org.au

Alternatively you can register the morning of the event in the Botanical Gardens.

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