Resident Reaps Benefits from Memory Training Program

Cathy Lewis believes in prevention.

Since moving to South Franklin Circle a couple of years ago she and her husband John have continued to take a proactive approach to their health and wellness.

“We want to stay as active as we can as long as we can,” says Cathy. “That’s why we came here. We have a number of tools at our fingertips to stay engaged and in control of decisions about our lives as we grow older.”

When her doctor recently encouraged her to take a balance class as a preventive health measure, Cathy appreciated that South Franklin Circle already offered such a class.

A voracious reader, Cathy stays up to date with the latest research about brain plasticity, which refers to the brain’s natural ability to change all throughout life. “Research supports the idea of brain plasticity—regardless of age,” notes Cathy.

When she learned that Memory Training Centers of America (MTCA) would offer South Franklin Circle residents brain fitness programs, she was one of the first to sign up. “I figured if it’s available here, why not do it?” she says.

MTCA provides cognitive evaluation and treatment services to individuals coping with memory loss, as well as those who wish to prevent it. Its clinical and preventive programs have served thousands of individuals living in retirement communities throughout the United States. For eligible residents, services are paid for by Medicare Part B.

Based on an initial evaluation, participants meet one-on-one with a Master’s-level clinician twice a week for sessions tailored specifically to the individual’s needs. The sessions utilize state-of-the-art, interactive computer-based programs. For example, one exercise introduces the participant to audio of different bird calls. The participant then matches photos of the birds with the sound of their call.

But it’s not always about being on the computer.  Cathy’s clinician has also helped her develop strategies for everyday challenges like remembering where she put her reading glasses.

“Overall, the clinician has been a supportive partner and cheerleader,” says Cathy. “We enjoy working together.”

Participating in the MTCA program has validated Cathy’s overall view of holistic wellness.

“It’s taught me the importance of concentration and focus,” says Cathy. “It’s all about mindfulness.  If I focus on the task at hand and I’m in the moment, the more I remember.”  This revelation prompted her to enroll in a mindfulness meditation class at South Franklin Circle.

Cathy is just one example of the many residents who participate in the memory training program on a weekly basis and see similar results.

“Getting older is all about attitude.  I’ve always been a glass half-full kind of person,” she says.  “I’m grateful that these types of programs are available and that there’s still so much to learn!”

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