Staying active through the ages

Staying Active

TYLER (KYTX) - The Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County invites you to attend the Age of Champions Friday morning. It's a community conference on active aging.

Keeping active- mind, body and spirit is something those with the Alzheimer's Alliance try to instill in seniors every week at a four hour day club they call "Wonderful Wednesdays." Participants say keeping their minds and bodies active has helped them tremendously in coping with Alzheimer's.

The group looks forward to brain stimulating games and physical activity every week.

Day club director Jamie Huff says this time is important for two reasons.

"Not only do they have their brain stimulated to keep their brain healthier a little longer, but also their caregiver gets a break from the middle of the week."

A win-win for anyone affected by Alzheimer's or Dementia. 

"Oftentimes, at home, they won't easily do things for their for their caregiver- it's usually their spouse- as easily as they will for us because they're in a peer situation."

Social interaction is important for Duwayne Gandy. He never misses a Wednesday.

"I grew up enjoying being with people and helping people."

At 78, he says he's noticed his short term memory start to slip.

"I can tell you when I was born and where I lived for years and years and years, but I may not be able to tell you what I did at the house three days ago."

He says these brain games and quality time with friends helps keep his mind in check.

"Oh goodness, yes. I could not find anything better! I could not. I mean, this is just awesome."

He grew up an athlete and says he still tries to make time for regular exercise.

"We do chair exercises. And, it's like chair light aerobics, stretching, that kind of thing. And, we do games that are physical in nature, that don't overextend what they can do."

Huff says avoiding idle time alone is beneficial for anyone dealing with memory loss.

The age of champions conference begins at 8:30 tomorrow morning at the UT Tyler student theater and ballroom.



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