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Combat age-related sleep decline

Age-related sleep declineMany people experience a decline in sleep quality as they age. It becomes increasingly difficult to fall and stay asleep. Often, this is due to naturally-occurring changes in the way we sleep. The older we get, the more time we spend in the lighter stages of sleep.

The good news is that a new study published in PLOS Biology suggests age-related sleep decline may be preventable and even reversible.

Although it may sound strange, the researchers studied fruit flies to learn more about age-related sleep changes. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is actually used in aging research frequently, in particular because its sleep patterns are similar to humans’. For example, they sleep at night and are active during the day, and they even experience a decline in sleep quality as they age.  

You’re never too old to learn

Learning opportunities for seniorsComing up at our EPOCH communities, we will host several intriguing and educational presentations. Take a virtual tour of Thailand or popular museum exhibits around the world; learn more about Boston’s role in the civil war; receive great advice on making the move to a senior living community; or listen to the riveting tale of Anne Hutchinson, condemned as an “instrument of the devil” by the Puritan community in the 1600s.

You’re never too old to learn, and we hope you’ll join us for any or all of these great presentations! Keep reading for details.

Alzheimer’s gene poses greater risk to women

Alzheimer’s researchers have known for a while that the gene APOE4 increases the risk for developing this devastating memory-impairing disease. What they didn’t know was that this gene may pose a greater risk to women than men.

According to a new study published in Annals of Neurology, APOE4 nearly doubles women’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while men are only slightly more likely to develop it. 

This may help explain why women are disproportionately affected by the disease – roughly two-thirds of the five million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the United States are women. Another widely accepted explanation for this is that because women generally outlive men, they have more time to develop the disease.

EPOCH welcomes Audubon Society, Boston historian and Park Ranger

Audubon Society, Spring WildflowersJoin us this week for any or all of our free events – from a spring-themed presentation by the Mass Audubon Society, to a nutrition workshop, to an Easter egg hunt. Keep reading for details on these great events.

Audubon Society presents ‘Spring Wildflowers’ – April 15, 2:15 p.m.
EPOCH Assisted Living at Brewster Place
855 Harwich Rd. Brewster, Mass.

Learn about the role and history of your favorite wildflowers, name origins, pollination and seed dispersal, and the latest scientific research on the ecology of these beautiful plants. Please call 508-896-3252 to RSVP.

What volunteering means for seniors

It’s National Volunteer Week – a great time to get involved in your community, encourage others to do the same, and to recognize those who already commit themselves to volunteerism.

Volunteering is a worthwhile cause no matter who you are, but it can be particularly valuable for seniors. By helping those in need, volunteer work often provides older adults with a newfound sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing. Although the freedom that comes with retirement offers us an opportunity to explore new things, it can be difficult to adjust to having so much free time after a lifetime spent going to school, caring for kids and working. Volunteering is a great use of your time and will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.