WASHINGTON – There is strong scientific evidence that behavior changes and lifestyle habits can have a positive impact on brain health – yet many adults struggle to implement such changes. In a new report released today, “How to Sustain Brain Healthy Behaviors: Applying Lessons of Public Health and Science to Drive Change,” the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) outlines how individuals, communities and policymakers can all take steps to support brain health.
As the new report notes: “While we encourage people to make good decisions, the GCBH recognizes that an effective strategy to enhance brain health must be framed broadly, and that individual choices are made in a larger social and environmental context… Simply putting research findings forward and expecting people to change their behaviors and sustain healthy lifestyles accordingly is unrealistic.”
“We know what works to support brain health – this report focuses on how to make that happen,” added Sarah Lenz Lock, Executive Director of the Global Council on Brain Health. “Our experts have identified specific, practical tips to help older adults, communities and policymakers support the habits that are good for brain health. We show that change is possible, and why supporting brain health for an aging population makes good health and economic sense for communities and society as well as individuals.”
Many individuals and organizations have the ability to promote brain health behaviors. Among the suggestions offered in the new report are:
- For individuals: set specific goals, find ways to make your new behaviors enjoyable and celebrate your wins
- For communities (including health care providers, employers and community organizations): understand how better brain health for adults helps deliver on your mission, promote messages about brain healthy behaviors like increasing exercise, develop opportunities for peer-to-peer coaching and listen to your target audience
- For policymakers: set goals to improve the public’s brain health with a focus on building equity, fight the stigma of dementia, implement best practices from around the world, and consider how policies in other areas, such as the built environment, nutrition and education, can have a lifelong impact on brain health.
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.