Kale and Crosswords … How One Healthy Brains HERO Learns New Ways to Stay SharpLaura Mengel-Crespo is determined to do everything she can to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from befalling her the way it did her father and grandfather. She has been an advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness and education since her father was diagnosed 14 years ago. For the better part of the past year, she has been promoting and helping people log on to Cleveland Clinic’s Healthy Brains.org website through a volunteer program called Caesars HEROs that her employer, Caesars Entertainment, Inc., provides.

Mrs. Mengel-Crespo uses HealthyBrains.org herself, and has seen a marked improvement in her health since she signed up and completed the brain health self- assessment six months ago. Her personalized brain health index score, dashboard and report gave her insight into lifestyle choices that she needed to improve to support better brain health.

“It only takes a couple of minutes to complete the assessment,” she says. “We all go to our doctor and dentist appointments. Why not make this a part of taking care of yourself?”

Having scored lowest in the areas of physical activity and nutrition, Mrs. Mengel-Crespo has made changes that include drinking protein shakes with kale every day and increasing her intake of nuts and berries. As a result, she improved her nutrition score by about 17 points. She doubled her physical activity score when she began walking more, bowling and making simple changes such as parking her car farther away from her destination. She also does crossword puzzles on her iPad when she travels, a tip she learned from the HealthyBrains.org monthly e-newsletter.

Ms. Mengel-Crespo urges people to utilize the site because “you can’t have enough information” about brain disease. She encourages them to follow up by retaking the assessment at least every year on their birthday, if not every six months, to see how their scores have improved.  

Are you making changes in your lifestyle that will help your brain? Be a HERO like Laura and find ways to volunteer to help improve your social pillar. Re-evaluate your habits and lifestyle by utilizing the brain health assessment and memory test tools at https://healthybrains.org/.