Elders, family members, and the community may be concerned about changes in memory or cognition as elders age. Brain health refers to your thinking, understanding, processing, and memory abilities. It also can refer to the things you to do keep your brain healthy and active, like staying physically active and following a healthy diet. Brain health recognizes that “typical” aging differs from Alzheimer’s and related dementias, and emphasizes mind and body health.
It is estimated that over the next 50 years the extent of Alzheimer’s and related dementias will increase. This will heighten the need for healthcare, services, and caregiving for elders. These conditions may also impact family members who often serve as caregivers to elders. Some people with health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, commercial tobacco use, or mid-life obesity may be at risk for poorer brain health. However, these health conditions can be treated or prevented.
There are many actions elders, family members, community members, healthcare providers, and Tribal leaders can take to promote brain health. Learn more about how you can be a champion for brain health here.
The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) advocates for health and wellness of Tribes across the life course. We do this through hosting events, developing timely communication and educational resources, and advocating for policies and programs that support Tribal health and wellness.
In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NIHB is hosting an action-oriented institute and other learning activities to increase awareness of brain health and relevant resources.
The Brain Health Action Institute for Tribal Nations will support Tribes and Tribal organizations in using the Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map for Indian Country to start conversations, as well as develop and plan strategies for improving brain health in their own communities. The Road Map for Indian Country is the first-ever public health guide focused on dementia in American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
You can find more information about NIHB’s work and other brain health activities here.