March 19th, certified nurses are celebrated. This date was picked because
it’s the birthday of Margretta ‘Gretta’ Madden Styles, who was
an expert in nurse credentialing. Board certified nurses help their
employers stay on top of the changing medical world and bring new
perspectives to old problems.
Association of Managed Care Nurses (AAMCN) has partnered with
Pfizer to give nurses and healthcare professionals access to this
interactive case management resource that provides training modules,
downloadable toolkits, detailed articles and reprints, as well as external
resources that relate with each topic.
and resources cover the following topics:
AAMCN also offers
Study preparatory course for becoming a Certified
Managed Care Nurse (CMCN) or Certified Managed Care Professional
(CMCP for licensed social workers). The course gives you an overview of
care management including the different departments, roles, and government
programs that relate to care management.
Visit the American
Board of Managed Care Nursing's website (www.ABMCN.org) to learn more about the
Cognitive health—the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember—is an important component of brain health. Others include:
motor function—how well you make and control movements
emotional function—how well you interpret and respond to emotions
sensory function—how well you feel and respond to sensations of touch, including pressure, pain, and temperature
This guide focuses on cognitive health and what you
can do to help maintain it. The following steps can help you function
every day and stay independent—and they have been linked to cognitive
Take Care of Your Health
Taking care of your physical health may help your cognitive health. You can:
healthy diet can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, such as
heart disease or diabetes. It may also help keep your brain healthy.
In general, a healthy diet consists of fruits and vegetables; whole
grains; lean meats, fish, and poultry; and low–fat or non–fat dairy
products. You should also limit solid fats, sugar, and salt. Be sure to control portion sizes and drink enough water and other fluids.
Researchers are looking at whether a healthy diet can help preserve
cognitive function or reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. For example, there
is some evidence that people who eat a "Mediterranean diet" have a lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.
Researchers have developed and are testing another diet, called MIND, a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. One study suggests that MIND may affect the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Being physically active—through regular exercise, household chores, or other activities—has many benefits. It can help you:
keep and improve your strength
have more energy
improve your balance
prevent or delay heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases
perk up your mood and reduce depression
Studies link ongoing physical activity with benefits for the brain,
too. In one study, exercise stimulated the human brain's ability to
maintain old network connections and make new ones that are vital to
cognitive health. Other studies have shown that exercise increased the size of a brain structure important to memory and learning, improving spatial memory.
Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is thought to be more
beneficial to cognitive health than non-aerobic stretching and toning
exercise. Studies are ongoing.
recommend that all adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity
each week. Aim to move about 30 minutes on most days. Walking is a good
start. You can also join programs that teach you to move safely and prevent falls,
which can lead to brain and other injuries. Check with your healthcare
provider if you haven't been active and want to start a vigorous
For more information, see Go4Life®, NIA's exercise and physical activity campaign for older adults.
Keep Your Mind Active
Being intellectually engaged may benefit the brain. People who engage
in meaningful activities, like volunteering or hobbies, say they feel
happier and healthier. Learning new skills may improve your thinking
ability, too. For example, one study
found that older adults who learned quilting or digital photography had
more memory improvement than those who only socialized or did less
cognitively demanding activities.
Lots of activities can keep your mind active. For example, read books
and magazines. Play games. Take or teach a class. Learn a new skill or
hobby. Work or volunteer. These types of mentally stimulating activities have not been proven to prevent serious cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease, but they can be fun!
Scientists think that such activities may protect the brain by
establishing "cognitive reserve." They may help the brain become more
adaptable in some mental functions, so it can compensate for age–related
brain changes and health conditions that affect the brain.
Formal cognitive training also seems to have benefits. In
the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital
Elderly (ACTIVE) trial, healthy adults 65 and older participated in 10
sessions of memory training, reasoning training, or processing–speed
training. The sessions improved participants' mental skills in the area
in which they were trained. Most of these improvements persisted 10 years after the training was completed.
Be wary of claims that playing certain computer and online games can
improve your memory and other types of thinking. Evidence to back up
such claims is evolving. NIA and others are supporting research to
determine if different types of cognitive training have lasting effects.
For more information, see Participating in Activities You Enjoy: More Than Just Fun and Games.
with other people through social activities and community programs can
keep your brain active and help you feel less isolated and more engaged
with the world around you. Participating in social activities may lower
the risk for some health problems and improve well–being.
So, visit with family and friends. Join programs through your Area
Agency on Aging, senior center, or other community organizations.
We don't know for sure yet if any of these actions can prevent or delay Alzheimer's disease
and age–related cognitive decline. But some of them have been
associated with reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.