URBANA, Ill. – Staying fit doesn’t only mean exercising and eating healthy foods. With age, it’s important to do activities which keep our brains fit and healthy, as well as our bodies. Beginning May 7, University of Illinois Extension will offer strategies to improve and maintain brain function during free one-hour online webinars.

Register online at least two days in advance to reserve a spot. Space is limited so, early registration is suggested. Both CPDU and CEU credits options are available for a fee and should be noted at the time of registration. Look for an email confirmation after registering which provides connection details.

The series, Discover Brain Health, will be held at 2 p.m. CDT each Thursday, beginning May 7. “The interactive series is designed to understand the brain as we mature,” say Karla Belzer, U of I Extension family life educator. “Extension family life educators will offer tips and strategies to maintain and improve brain health and function, including activities to challenge the brain.”

Weekly topics include:

  • May 7: Hold That Thought: Review the memory process and what researchers say contribute to brain health, as well as strategies for helping with everyday forgetfulness.
  • May 14: Fit Wits: Learn how the brain works and lifestyle factors that may increase the chance of cognitive decline.
  • May 21: Head Strong: Learn practical ways to keep your brain healthy and engaged.
  • May 28: Two Heads are Better than One: Maintaining social connections can contribute to brain health. Understand the aging brain and what you can do to keep your brain engaged.
  • June 4: Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: Learn how Alzheimer’s disease impacts brain health as it progresses.
  • June 11: Communication Challenges and Strategies for People with Dementia: Discuss common communication problems caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, as well as strategies for better interactions and visits.

Source: Karla Belzer, University of Illinois Extension, Family Life Educator
Karla provides community based training and education on life issues affecting families, adults, and individuals as they age. She works closely with community groups and organizations serving families, adults, and seniors. Karla has worked in the health and human services field for the past 20 years, most recently working as a program director for an agency serving individuals with developmental disabilities. She has worked as a recreational therapist in a variety of clinical and community based settings, as a social worker, and as a director of rehabilitation at a community based work program for individuals with disabilities. She has a bachelor's degree in recreation administration from Eastern Illinois University and a masters degree in therapeutic recreation from Indiana University. 

Writer: Susan O'Connor