Jammin’ Out for Alzheimer’s

At 7:00 pm on Friday, June 26, there was a constant stream of rain coming down from the sky. But, if you were at Five Points Washington, you would never know how gloomy it was outside. That’s because inside, the Peoria Pops Orchestra was putting on a spectacular show that made the rain a distant thought.

“Peoria Pops Presents: Broadway vs. Rock N’ Roll” was an extremely successful DIY event benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association. There was a constant source of entertainment, right down to the emcees dancing to “YMCA”.

The emcees: Jeremy and Tonya Davis

The emcees: Jeremy and Tonya Davis

The night began with a pre-concert lip sync contest, where Jill & Jeremy Tracy and Sean Testa battled it out with some comedy and awesome air guitar skills. After the contestants preformed, cans were passed throughout the audience for donations. These monetary donations would determine the winner. It was a close race, but ultimately Jill and Jeremy Tracy were crowned the lip sync champions.

Jill and Jeremy Tracy

Jill and Jeremy Tracy

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Sean Testa

After the lip sync contest, Conductor Harold Greene readied his orchestra and went to work. The orchestra played 13 songs, alternating between Broadway classics and Rock N’ Roll favorites. A few examples of songs played throughout the night were: Rock, Roll & Remember (Salute to Dick Clark), Chicago, The Beatles Medley, Highlights from “Wicked”, and The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

Peoria Pops Orchestra

Peoria Pops Orchestra

Peoria Pops Orchestra is a volunteer orchestra through the Peoria Park District. Their motto is: We make music fun! And that is the truth. The songs were played excellently, and everyone was smiling along. It was an incredible night of great music, great fun, and for a great cause.

As with the lip sync contest, cans were passed through the crowd to determine the winner of the music battle. Broadway and Rock N’ Roll are two classic genres that so many people love. It was another close race, but in the end, the victor was Rock N’ Roll.

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Through the donations of audience members, “Broadway vs. Rock N’ Roll” raised over $800 for the Alzheimer’s Association. Everyone here at the Central Illinois Chapter is thrilled, and we can’t thank Five Points Washington and Peoria Pops Orchestra for a wonderful night.

As previously mentioned, this event was a DIY event that benefitted the Alzheimer’s Association. A DIY (Do It Yourself) event is an event that anyone can put on! If you enjoy planning events for your friends, family, or coworkers, than these events are perfect for you! Do good and have fun by turning your next event into a DIY event for the Alzheimer’s Association. If you would like to host your own DIY event or would like more information, call our office toll-free at 800.272.3900!

More healthy habits to keep your brain active!

Last week we talked about the first five of 10 Ways to Love Your Brain. Keeping your brain healthy and happy is essential to potentially reducing your risk of cognitive decline. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. It is also the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed down.

In order to help prevent developing Alzheimer’s or any other dementia, we have five more habits you can adopt!

6) Fuel up right — Eating a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables in fruit helps reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Although research on diet and cognitive function is limited, certain diets, including Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), may contribute to risk reduction.

  • Mediterranean Diet: Focus on fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Replace butter with healthy fats, like olive oil. Limit red meat. Use herbs to flavor food rather than salt. Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week. For more information on the Mediterranean Diet visit: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801
  • DASH Diet: Eat foods that are low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. Consume whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts. Decrease your intake of fats, red meat, sweets, sugared beverages, and sodium.

7) Catch some Zzz’s — Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.

8) Take care of your mental health — Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of dementia, so seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Also, try to manage stress.

9) Buddy up — Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you. Find ways to be part of your local community!

10) Stump yourself — Challenge and activate your mind. Build a piece of furniture. Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Do something artistic. Play games, such as bridge, that make you think strategically. Challenging your mind may have short and long-term benefits for your brain.

So this week take a nap, then grab some friends and engage in activities that challenge your mind. Whether its for 30 minutes or 3 hours, you’re working your way to end Alzheimer’s disease for good!

Time to Keep Your Brain Healthy & Happy!

A few weeks ago we mentioned how we here at the Alzheimer’s Association Central Illinois Chapter love June. This is because June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month! We want everyone to join the discussion about Alzheimer’s and help end this disease once and for all.

We all have the same goal: end Alzheimer’s. But sometimes, if you are not directly affected by the disease, it may seem distant from your everyday life. We’re here to tell you that everyone who has a brain is at risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Although that may seem scary, don’t worry. There are habits you can adopt to potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

These habits, presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, are called “10 Ways to Love Your Brain.” This week we will talk about the first five ways to keep your brain active and healthy.

1) Break a sweat — You should engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. This blood flow brings nutrients to the brain that is essential to well-being. Several studies have found a link between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.

2) Hit the books — Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. You could take a class at a local college, community center, or even online!

3) Butt out — Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking means reducing that risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.

4) Follow your heart — Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke (obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes) negatively impact your cognitive health. If you take care of your heart, your brain might just follow.

5) Heads up! — Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt, use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike, and take steps to prevent falls.

These are such easy habits we can implement in our day to day lives. So until next time, go hit the gym, learn something new, and buckle up. See you next week!