Lynchburg’s Beard Center on Aging partners on brain health education sessions – University of Lynchburg

Starting in March, everyone in the Lynchburg area can learn all about brain health right where they live, thanks to a new two-part series offered by Jay White Gerontology and the University of Lynchburg’s Beard Center on Aging. The series is taught by local gerontologist and Certified Dementia Practitioner Dr. Jay White and funded by the Virginia Department of Health’s Brain Health Virginia initiative.

“As we age, our brain changes, which impacts our memory and other functions,” Beard Center director Denise Scruggs said. “The risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias also increases. The good news? Recent research has found that healthy lifestyle habits can reduce our risk of dementia.”

Denise Scruggs dementia workshop 2017
Denise Scruggs speaks during an Exercise and Dementia Workshop in 2017.

In the first part, “In Our Brains and Bodies as We Age,” White will discuss what’s normal and what isn’t. In “Improving our Brain Health as We Age,” he’ll offer strategies for boosting brain health and lowering one’s risk for dementia.

The curriculum is intentionally designed to let people drop in later — if someone has missed part one, they’ll still be able to understand part two, Scruggs says.

Sessions will start Friday, March 25, and run through Sept. 22. The programs will be held in person at various locations in Amherst County, Appomattox, Bedford County, and Campbell County. They’ll also be livestreamed for anyone interested in viewing them online.

White is the director of the Longevity Center in Richmond, Virginia, and operates Jay White Gerontology in Lynchburg. He is an experienced educator and the former director of professional and community development for the Department of Gerontology at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Scruggs, who has been with the University since 2007, conducts aging-related workshops for organizations on a variety of topics. For more information and to view the brain-health sessions online, contact her at or 434.544.8456 at least 48 hours before the event.

The Beard Center on Aging at the University of Lynchburg aims to address the needs of older citizens through community education, engagement, and outreach. The Center offers unique opportunities for Lynchburg students to learn immersively through research initiatives, meaningful outreach, educational programs, and professional conferences, seminars, and workshops.

Brain Health Central Virginia Schedule:

Part 1: “Our Brains and Bodies as We Age”

  • Friday, March 25, noon-1 p.m.: Madison Heights Library, 200 River James Shopping Center, Madison Heights
  • Thursday, April 28, noon-1 p.m.: Bedford Central Library, 321 N. Bridge St., Bedford
  • Thursday, June 9, noon-1 p.m.: J. Robert Jamerson Memorial Library, 106 Main St., Appomattox
  • Thursday, Aug. 4, noon-1 p.m.: Staunton Memorial Library, 500 Washington St., Altavista

Part 2: “Improving our Brain Health as We Age”

  • Friday, May 13, noon-1 p.m.: Amherst Library, 382 S. Main St., Amherst
  • Thursday, June 16, noon-1 p.m.: Forest Library, 15583 Forest Rd., Forest
  • Thursday, July 14, noon-1 p.m.: Jamerson Library, 106 Main St., Appomattox
  • Thursday, Sept. 22, noon-1 p.m.: Rustburg Library, 684 Village Highway, Rustburg
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