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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.

This week at EPOCH: Celebrate art, music and Earth Day

Earth DayWe have a lot of fun, free events going on at our communities this week. Join us for an art discussion on Norman Rockwell; concerts by Ethan Stone, Adam Bergeron and Bits and Pieces; or a multimedia presentation on Earth Day. Find details on these great events below.

Art Matters presents: Norman Rockwell – April 8, 2 p.m.
EPOCH Independent and Assisted Living at Boylston Place
615 Heath St. Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Jane Blair, owner of Art Matters, will discuss the life and work of Norman Rockwell, one of America’s most beloved painters. Best known for illustrating the covers of the Saturday Evening Post for 47 years, Rockwell has become a cultural icon, inspiring the phrase, “As American as apple pie, baseball and Norman Rockwell.” Please RSVP by calling 617-244-6400.

Improve your health: Get some sun

Sunlight improves your healthWe all know sunlight is a key ingredient to good health, but it may have an even bigger impact than we previously thought. According to a new study from Northwestern University, basking in the sun can help you manage your weight.

An important thing to note is that this refers specifically to bright, early morning light. In the study, people who spent time in the sun between 8 a.m. and noon had a lower body mass index than those who spent time outside later in the day.

Of course, this raises some questions – how do early morning rays differ from late day rays, and why would sunshine impact your weight at all?