Brain Health - Rancho La Puerta
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Brain Health

Week of April 15, 2023

This program provides guests an overall understanding of brain health and what it means to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally as we age.  It also provides a safe space for guests to explore grief as they move through both expected and unexpected life changes that cause sudden change and/or hardship.

Brain Healthy Living: What is “brain health” and how we can protect our most vital organ from cognitive decline
In the first seminar of the series, we will discuss what brain health is and how we can lower our chances of developing a cognitive disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia.  How do you want to age and live in your later years? What steps should you take now to protect the dreams for your future?  We will examine the warning signs of cognitive disease vs. what are normal memory issues as we get older.  We will learn about the key components of brain health and specifically what you can do to help strengthen your brain and by extension your quality of life.

Grief 101-What is Grief? Let’s explore the grieving process and the unexpected life experiences that lead us to experience the fluid range of emotions surrounding grief.
In the second seminar, we will dive straight into grief and talk about the five stages of grief as well as the various life experiences that pulls us into grief that we may not expect. Divorce, empty nesters, a career-ending, and the death of a loved one are all examples of times we grieve.  There are many different things that we may grieve but the process holds similar threads no matter what.  Sometimes these stages of grief don’t go in order, and you can revisit stages over and over again until you have healed.  Living with grief can feel isolating and all-encompassing, and we will outline all the ways it can change you and ultimately your mental health.

Grief 102-What does it mean to be depressed?  When the normal grieving process pulls you into something deeper moving on feels impossible.
In the third part of the series, we will talk about feelings of hopelessness, sorrow, and anxiety that can accompany the grieving process.  We will also discuss what it is like to grieve for a loved one who is still alive, as such is the case for Alzheimer’s and Dementia caregivers or other long-standing disease.  We will discuss what to do if you feel a loss of joy in your life, and how to find healing and ultimately hope again.  Elizabeth will describe the symptoms of depression and give insight into ways you may be feeling depressed without realizing it.  Depression can be a tricky thing that sneaks up when you least expect it, but its grasp on you takes hold in life’s most vulnerable moments.

Finding healing and purpose in the community.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”-Helen Keller
In the last part of this series, Elizabeth discusses how finding purpose from pain can be one of the richest and most rewarding experiences of your life.  She will give strategies for coping, for getting help and for moving forward even in life’s most difficult moments.  This will be a more interactive series where participants are encouraged to share their stories and help one another relate to shared pain.  Sure to be a heavy discussion, it will also be filled with hope and healing as we move forward and hopefully take away from the Ranch useful tips to put to use once participants get home on their path to healing.


Elizabeth Humphreys is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Mind What Matters and hosts the Mind What Matters podcast.  She is also a speaker and guest lecturer that focuses on brain health as well as Alzheimer’s and Dementia prevention.

Elizabeth got involved in the community surrounding Brain Health while being the sole caregiver for her mother Madelyn for over twelve years. She recognized the need for caregiver resources and community, especially as the number of families affected by memory disease is rising every year. Elizabeth was still in her 20s when her mother first started showing signs of memory impairment and personality changes. It was a long and difficult road that led to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and there seemed to be no real support at the time for caregivers. There was no roadmap. Elizabeth set out to build one.

Elizabeth joined the Alzheimer’s Association as a volunteer and chaired the young professionals board for the midsouth. She began speaking publicly about her journey as an Alzheimer’s caregiver. She then decided to start a podcast to help others talk about their own life experiences, sharing stories about their own pain and grief and ultimately how they managed an impossibly painful and emotionally draining disease. The podcast also serves to help educate and encourage others to care about their brain health. After meeting so many inspiring and dedicated people Nationwide, Elizabeth decided to launch Mind What Matters as a National Nonprofit. The Nonprofit supports the new generation of Alzheimer’s caregivers by providing financial aid, community, and resources to help ease the tremendous burdens they face. It also seeks to educate the public on the importance of brain health and doing whatever is necessary to lower the chances of developing Alzheimer’s or another related dementia.

When she’s not working or being a mom to three dogs and three children with her husband Hunter, she is an avid distance runner and loves to travel cook, and slowly build a world of brain health ambassadors.

Instagram Account-@mindwhatmattersnonprofit