MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. - During this pandemic, loneliness is a real issue for a lot of people who can’t make connections with others.
It’s especially concerning for seniors.
That’s part of the impetus for a new 30-day challenge starting September 1 in the Northwest to help seniors battle against the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The free challenge, put on by Connexion Insurance Solutions, also focuses on nutrition to help brain health.
Because we are in the midst of a pandemic, the challenge is being conducted on a Facebook page so that members can use to talk with others and also with neurologists.
Ann Farrison, with Connexion, says the company’s research shows that loneliness is a big concern among seniors.
“Between 33 and 44 percent of seniors are impacted from a health perspective, so that’s incredibly damaging,” said Farrison.
Doctors Dean and Ayesha Sherzai have been working for the last 15 years on preventative measures for dementia and other cognitive diseases.
They will be focusing on helping people create a healthier plant-based diet.
“Looking at different population studies, people who eat a healthy diet have lower risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, depression and anxiety,” said Ayesha Sherzai. “Unfortunately we live in a very fast-paced lifestyle, and nutrition always goes to the bottom of the list as something that is not as important.”
The challenge also puts an emphasis on members making connections with each other through chat groups, in a time when that can be extremely difficult.
“To connect with your friends and to connect with community and even with people you don’t know,” said Dean Sherzai.
“Make sure you can have those challenging and interesting conversations because that’s what forces the neurons to make connections. Maybe in a way this COVID-19 has pushed us to make those connections beyond face to face.”
The Sherzais will make their own connections with people during the challenge as they hold interactive question and answers sessions.
There’s also recipes and cooking demonstrations using healthy recipes.
It is free to the public. Seniors are encouraged to join but it’s also open to people of any age.
Again, it starts September 1. Click here for more information.