As the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, the Alzheimer’s Association is committed to raising awareness of this fatal brain disease. In partnership with the Eastside Family YMCA, “Flex and Reflect” will offer exercise classes for your spirit, mind and body.

The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another related dementia is life changing. It often leads to questions and feelings of uncertainty and loneliness. Our new program, Flex and Reflect, can help people in the early stages of cognitive disorders, and their caregivers, in three areas that may have a positive effect on brain health.

Exercise Your Spirit: Staying socially engage may support brain health. Share these activities with others with Alzheimer’s and caregivers offers a sense of community.

Exercise Your Mind:  Challenging your mind through art, games, or puzzles may have short- and long –term benefits for your brain

Exercise Your Body: Physical activity elevates the heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body.

Debbie Wisinski, the Constituent Services Coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association, has been facilitating early stage social engagement programs for person with a diagnosis of dementia and their care partners for several years now. Wisinksi is very excited about this new program and partnership.

“Early-Stage Social Engagement Programs offer a fun and comfortable way for people living in the early stage of Alzheimer’s or other dementia to get out, get active and get connected with one another through a variety of social events and community-based activities determined by individual needs and interests of the participants and that promote social interaction and companionship,” said Wisinski, “We are so excited to see this new initiative take off at the Eastside Family YMCA in Erie”.

Classes will begin on June 11, from 1 to 2:30 PM and run every Tuesday and Thursday in the Eastside YMCA, GE Multi-Purpose Room. Class size is limited, pre-registration is required. For pre-registration and more information interested constituents can contact Debbie Wisinski at 814-456-9200 ext 5101.

“At the Y, a supportive community is a big part of wellness. At every age and every level of activity, you’ll find people looking to live a little bit healthier. Members and program participants often cite the support and enthusiasm of fellow participants and staff as some of the key factors in their achievement of greater well-being,” said YMCA Healthy Living Director Kelly Gibson. “Living healthy is about spirit, mind and body at every age and stage. We offer classes and programs for those dealing with chronic disease, joint and injury rehabilitation, and cancer survivorship in addition to health assessments and wellness coaching.”

The Association also has a toll-free, 24/7 helpline available at 800-272-3900. Information is also available at


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