Promoting Healthy Brains and Alzheimer’s Awareness at The Woodlands

Promoting Healthy Brains and Alzheimer's Awareness at The Woodlands

Promoting Healthy Brains and Alzheimer’s Awareness at The Woodlands

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to highlight The Woodlands at Furman’s commitment to long-term brain wellness and our memory care neighborhood.

Join Us for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 5, 2024, the date of the Greenville, NC Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Every year, “The Woodlands Walkers” participate in this event to support the search for a cure. Alongside many of The Woodlands’ team members and residents, we are joined by the community’s family members and friends.

If you are interested in walking with us in solidarity and support, we would love to have you join in. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to honor care partners, loved ones and family members affected by dementia and other brain changes. Your financial support is also welcome. Every year, we raise thousands of dollars for this special cause with the help of generous resident donors and businesses around Greenville. Please reach out to Richelle Grimes via email at or call 864-371-3100 to pledge your support, walk with us or do both!

The Woodlands Memory Support Neighborhood is Getting a Makeover

We’re excited about the updates to our memory support neighborhood at The Woodlands. We are refreshing the interiors and common areas, purchasing new furnishings and updating the private suites one at a time. We are about halfway through the planned renovations and expect to be fully complete in 2025. While memory support is primarily reserved for residents of The Woodlands, occasionally, there are openings for non-residents from the greater Greenville community. If you’re interested, we recommend putting your loved one’s name on the waitlist. 

Why is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in June?

President Ronald Reagan designated June as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in 1983, urging global participation to promote understanding, care and research into these devastating conditions. Tragically, Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994 and passed away nearly a decade later.

The Science of Brain Health

While there is no cure yet for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, promising developments in drugs and therapies may slow the disease, and there are some reports of interventions that can halt or even reverse its progress. However, reversing any disease process is highly controversial and requires peer-reviewed studies to verify efficacy. With that said, there is some sound advice for brain health that most researchers agree on. 

Tips for Keeping Your Brain Healthy

What is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Cardio exercises that increase blood flow and circulation are beneficial. Dual-task exercises like walking and talking are particularly effective in preventing brain changes. Racket sports, such as tennis, racquetball, pickleball and ping pong, are also beneficial due to their hand-eye coordination and physical movement components.

However, avoid exercises that could lead to falls and concussions, such as biking. Even mild brain injuries can be precursors to serious cognitive decline later. Stick with stationary biking, swimming, walking, yoga and tai chi as safe and effective forms of exercise. If biking is your passion, invest in a high-quality helmet.

The current science warns against foods that spike blood sugar levels. Alzheimer’s is now termed “type 3 diabetes,” as obesity and diabetes are significant risk factors. Refined sugar is a major contributor to Alzheimer’s and dementia, making it crucial to minimize its intake.

Diet Recommendations:
Nutrient-Rich Foods: Include almonds, walnuts and omega-3-rich sources like salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring.

Fruits and Vegetables: Keep fresh fruits and vegetables on your plate at every meal.

Healthy Alternatives: Substitute white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Avoid fried foods, and opt for healthier alternatives like coconut and avocado oil for cooking. Use olive oil for salads and dipping.

Avoid: Soda (both sugary and sugar-free), alcohol and highly processed foods.

Living at The Woodlands offers our residents plenty of healthy food options, including one of the largest salad bars you have ever seen. Check out our dining section on the website to learn more. 

Lifelong Learning To Stay Sharp

Staying committed to learning new things is crucial for brain health. Being adjacent to a great university with one of the largest Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) programs in the nation inspires our residents to stay curious, connected and engaged.

We hope this quick primer on brain health was helpful. We look forward to seeing you at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Greenville, NC, on October 5. Feel free to join us or support us as we walk for a cure. Contact us at