Services & Programs Enhance Cognitive Health
We are conditioned to equate "normal" aging with fearful things like dementia and with Alzheimer's constantly in the news, it's at the very top of the "fear list". Even younger adults who experience occasional trouble retrieving a word or a name start to think, "I am on the slippery slope toward dementia!”
The fact is that memory lapses and memory loss do not always lead to Alzheimer’s disease and the latest research points to specific lifestyle "interventions" that may actually slow cognitive decline and related memory loss by boosting overall brain health.
Improvements in lifestyle with some daily support are especially beneficial for individuals experiencing early memory loss (referred to by the medical community as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Early memory loss can affect daily functioning such as remembering to take medications or pay bills, or forgetting or mixing up names and faces. The memory loss and resulting confusion often leads to increased anxiety, isolation and depression. While those affected by MCI often stay at home with minor assistance, we believe it isn't an optimum situation.
Many individuals living with mild memory loss thrive and even improve in our assisted living communities because of our focus on treating the whole person with targeted individualized support, services and stimulating programs that enhance cognitive health.
The cutting-edge services and programs offered at Senior Living Residences (SLR) communities are designed to promote brain and overall health for all of our residents, whether or not they are experiencing early memory loss. Through brain healthy cuisine, brain and heart-healthy exercise regimes, medication reminders, and engaging and inspiring adventures and activities, our communities offer a wealth of practical, fun and tasty restorative and preventative possibilities.
To start, the daily menus at SLR communities feature selections from our proprietary Brain Healthy Cooking Program, based on a Mediterranean-style diet of nutrient-rich foods, including dark berry fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, olive oil and specific spices. Recent large-scale studies show that people eating a Mediterranean diet have a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Research points to exercise as even more beneficial for cognitive health. In several studies, regular exercise was found to delay the onset and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's, and the more frail a person was the more she or he benefited from exercise. Brain-boosting exercise programs at SLR incorporate aerobics, yoga, cardiovascular and strength training workouts. All of our EnrichedLIFE Directors are also certified in the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program which uses exercise to promote joint health and whole body wellness.
At SLR communities, residents also have the option of participating in our EnrichedLIFE program, an extensive collection of engaging music, art, education, and spiritual programs offered on a daily basis. The intellectual stimulation and opportunities to socialize that comes with community living are major benefits for someone living with mild memory loss. Dr. Robert Stern of the Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center says the latest research bears this out, suggesting that "maintaining strong social connections may offer the biggest brain boost of all."