Thinking About our Health – Parkinson's Awareness Week

We are always being told about how important it is to stay healthy and eat the right food in order to prevent physical health problems such as obesity, cancer and heart disease but we are rarely notified about changes we can make to keep our minds healthy and active.

Angela Rippon and Dr Chris Van Tulleken have been travelling the world to find the latest experiments and research that could help put the brakes on the ageing process for the BBC programme, ‘How To Stay Young’. Their investigations into what we can do to keep our brains healthy reaffirms the values we hold high at Morris Care – that the key to long term health is a fundamental mix of social activity, eating the right foods and actively stimulating your brain.

With it being Parkinson’s Awareness Week, this programme points a sharp focus at steps we can take to look after our health in our 30s, 40s and 50s. Parkinson’s is not a fundamental phase in the ageing process but by taking more of a positive interest in our brain health now we can help to prevent conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s in the future.

Did you know that around 1 in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease? This equates to 127,000 people in the UK, with men more likely to be affected than women.

The condition is triggered by a loss of nerve cells where part of the brain becomes progressively damaged over several years with symptoms including tremors, slow movement and stiff or inflexible muscles. Not everyone with Parkinson’s has the same symptoms and they don’t appear in a particular order, progress at the same speed or in the same way.

Across our seven care homes, we have Social Life Co-ordinators who provide a variety of activities for our residents, encouraging them to become more social and learn new things in their daily routines. Activities range from a spot of reading or a crossword to an hour of gardening or visiting a nearby town on our mini-bus with other residents. These activities all work towards the common goal of keeping both the mind and body young and healthy.

For more information on the BBC’s ‘how to stay young’ programme, click here.

Click here to find out more about Morris Care’s services.

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