Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare and Carris Health care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to helps us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

How to 'Age-Proof' Your Brain

Published in Wellness 

Author: Staff

As we get older there are many transitions the body goes through. Our hair turns gray, our skin begins to wrinkle and those joints that we never noticed before are starting to ache. But what is happening inside our body? More importantly, inside our head?

Just like the other organs in the body, the brain goes through significant changes as we age. Portions of the brain begin to shrink, arteries slowly narrow and the communication between the brain's nerve cells reduce.

With these changes, some people will begin to notice subtle difficulty with remembering new information such as names. As these symptoms continue to progress, it can ultimately develop into cognitive impairment or dementia. These ailments can alter an individual's ability to remain independent as daily tasks become increasingly more challenging.

Fortunately, not all elderly adults experience a loss in mental function but the predictability of those who eventually will is still unknown. Although aging is inevitable, there are steps you can take to keep your brain healthier, longer. Follow these helpful tips to get yourself on track for a brain-healthy lifestyle.

  • Regular Exercise: People who are active on a regular basis can increase their brain's overall health. So whether your biking, hiking or taking your dog on a walk, regular exercise should be an important part of your daily routine.
  • Healthy Diet: Eating smarter can help your brain fend off harmful oxidation. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants including fish and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Mental Stimulation: Your brain is just like the muscles in your body, if you don't use it, you lose it. Continue to learn and develop new hobbies and activities as you age.
  • Quality Sleep: Your brain gets tired. Give it the break it needs. A good night's sleep increases memory creation and retention as well as helps the brain function to its full ability.
  • Stress Management: Stress can take a toll on your brain's overall health, shrinking key memory areas. Remember to make relaxation a priority in your life.
  • Active Social Life: Interacting with others can help to slow the rate of memory decline. Calling your kids, grandkids or friends and having engaging conversations is good for your brain's health.

The more you incorporate these habits into your daily life, the healthier your brain will be. This allows it to work hardier, stay stronger and maintain longer.