Page 11 - Miles for Memories Dementia Booklet 2022
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  was positive for the person living with dementia. This program has moved from the pilot phase and will begin implemen- tation soon.
Mind aerobics is a funded program managed by Senior Health Partners. It is
a workout class for the brain – for adults who wish to maximize mental functioning. Developed by the award-winning New England Cognitive Center (NECC), this 12- week, 24-class virtual program uses games and activities to target reaction time, visual/spatial perception, attention and concentration, memory, language, and problem solving. Sessions incorporate repetition and reinforcement practices
to enhance learning and retention. Reach out to Senior Health Partners for more details at (269) 441-0948.
Education programs abound from personal to professional, youth to mature adults, and from 10 minutes to 16 hours. Youth educational services (YES) help stu- dents to understand dementia and include our new puppet program and coloring book geared toward elementary students. Read more on page 14. Sweet readers is another youth program that pairs students learning to read with mature adults. The pen pal program combines at-risk youth
in middle schools with adults impacted by dementia. Our baby grands program is still under development but will be centered on music.
Adult education programs range from a 30-minute overview to longer commu- nity presentations, as well as a 16-hour certification program for professionals. The certification program is offered at adult
care facilities as well as at the local commu- nity college. We will gladly tailor a program that will meet you needs from content
to length. Just as important is the elder educator program, which combines early doctoral students with adults impacted by neurodegenerative conditions. This inter- action provides an education for students that can only be gained from life experi- ences. This partnership is with Michigan State University and is managed by Senior Health Partners.
Michigan State University has been
a partner with Miles for Memories from the beginning. As part of our fundraising efforts we set aside 20% of our undesig- nated dollars for research at the university. It is our intent to learn how we can impact the trajectory of dementia through this research. Our researchers in turn come to our community several times each year
to provide an update. These events are usually in the spring, most often in April. If you have questions for the researchers join us for the next research update.
As a result of our research updates, we now know that lifestyle changes can have
a significant impact on reducing the risk
for developing dementia. Furthermore,
the CDC says the risk factors for dementia include smoking, high blood pressure, not getting enough exercise, being over- weight, trouble sleeping, isolation, and blood sugar levels and cites the British medical journal, The Lancet, which sug- gests that dealing with these risk factors can, “Prevent or delay” 40% of dementia cases. Education can play an important role as well.
Support groups are another way for caregivers to interact with their peers
in the same situation. For many, it’s just what they need to keep going and doing the vital work with their loved ones. A list of local support groups offered through several organizations can be found monthly in Senior Times of South Central Michigan.
Dance and large movement is intended to work with both the person living with dementia as well as their caregiver using movement. It supports the caregiver and encourages them to consider their health but also teaches them how they can work with movement during the next week or month. This is a program that we have been looking at developing for many years but is just getting back on track. Our first pilot groups might look something like this. The group starts together and then splits into two. The caregivers will enjoy an exercise program while their loved ones also enjoy movement from a seated or standing position. The program will wrap up with everyone coming back together where the caregiver will learn how to support their loved one with similar move- ments until they return for the next class. Reach out if you would like to join us for this pilot program.
We have worked hard to develop pro- grams that will meet the needs of our com- munity. We would appreciate hearing from you too. Share your thoughts, ideas, and needs. Better yet, join our team of volun- teers. Several partner community agencies offer even more programs. Together, we are making a difference.
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