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Posts Tagged ‘cognition’

Brain Fit

Recently, The Fountains has offered a new class to the residents. Every Wednesday morning, participants meet in the Community Room for a one-hour session of activities to “boost brain health.” This six-part series is led by Kathryn Ervin, a cognitive therapeutics interventionist who is employed by Home Care Assistance in Nashville.

On April 4, we spent time sharing reminiscences about our first paying job. This interaction promoted socialization, a big factor in maintaining cognitive function. Kathryn also led us in some simple chair exercises to loosen our muscles, and she gave us small plastic bags full of “healthy snacks,” a mixture of granola, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and nuts. The lesson here: exercise and good nutrition also promote a healthy brain.

The second session included activities to promote what she called “executive function.” One exercise involved flashing three words up onto a screen, and we were to determine how those three things were related. She began with easier things like “car,” “truck,” “bus.” Of course, we said they were all modes of transportation. Gradually, the terms became more difficult. Near the end of the exercise, she flashed up “banana,” “check,” and “bowling.” That took us all a moment. Finally, Robin saw the connection. “Those are all things connected with a split: a banana split, you can split the check, and you can bowl a split.” Everyone clapped. : )

This week, we played a trivia game where we were given multiple choices to answer each question, and we had to come up with the correct answer. The questions dealt with historical or well known persons. Kathryn also played a number of familiar songs, mostly from the 40’s and 50’s, and we had to name each tune. Then we sang along with the song. Another exercise was “logo identification.” Either a full logo or a partial logo was flashed onto the screen, and we had to name the company whose logo it was. A difficult one showed only a white pudgy arm with a hand waving. One of the ladies finally got it—the Michelin Tire man. : )

Next week we’ll deal with language—mostly writing—so that will be fun. : )

An amusing incident happened this Wednesday.  The week before, Kathryn had given each of us a bright red T-shirt with the name of her company emblazoned across the back. “If you wear your T-shirt next week, you’ll be eligible to win a prize,” she said. Robin and I took our shirts home, but I thought to myself, She’s treating us like we are kids. I won’t ever wear that silly shirt.

This time, Robin didn’t go, but I went, and when I walked into the room, I couldn’t believe what I saw. I was the only one not wearing my T-shirt!  I sat and chatted with everyone for a few minutes, but then I told them I felt bad that I didn’t wear my shirt, and I ran back across the street to our villa and changed.

When I returned, everyone clapped. : ) I grinned. “When in Rome… right?” They all laughed.

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