Largest Senior Living Provider Helping Residents Develop Personal Brain Health Plans
As brain health becomes an ever greater concern for people of all ages, the nation’s largest senior living provider is now guiding its residents on developing and putting into practice personalized brain health plans. Brookdale devised the new resident program with the help of a neuropsychologist specializing in brain health. The company is putting it into place at its independent and assisted living communities across the country.
Through the new initiative, Brookdale’s residents will be offered a four-session course that explains key factors in brain health through classroom learning and hands-on activities. Each participant will be guided on creating an individual brain health plan to use on a daily basis. The course was developed with the assistance of Dr. Paul Nussbaum, who is Board Certified in clinical and geropsychology with a specialty in neuropsychology. An adjunct professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, he is the author of “Save Your Brain.”
“The good news is that regardless of age, there are specific steps all of us can take,” said Dr. Nussbaum. “The brain has what we call ‘neural plasticity,’ meaning that it is dynamic, malleable and constantly reorganizing. Providing it with the right kind of stimulation – novel and complex – seems to have more of an impact than chronological age does.”
Mental stimulation, exercise and physical activity, nutrition, social connectedness and spirituality all have a role in brain health, according to Dr. Nussbaum, and the course will emphasize their importance. The class ties in with Brookdale’s Optimum Life philosophy of wellness, which combines six dimensions of wellness to help seniors live to their best capacity.
“We structure all of our programming to benefit our residents,” said Carol Cummings, R.N., who is senior director of Optimum Life engagement and innovation for Brookdale. “This new class takes an important step by giving our residents specific guidance and tools for shaping their own brain health plans and new ways to keep the brain active through mental fitness and new learning opportunities.”