The ASA-MetLife Foundation MindAlert Award program recognizes innovative mental fitness programs for older adults developed by nonprofit organizations. Based on the program focus and the population it serves, MindAlert Awards are available in the following three categories:
Each Award winner will receive:
New England Cognitive Center’s Mind Aerobics Cognitive Suite of Programs
The New England Cognitive Center’s Mind Aerobics Suite of Cognitive Programs was developed to provide older adults with comprehensive mental workouts that maintain or improve cognitive functioning. The programs are designed to meet the needs of a broad range of older adults, ranging from those at normal levels to those with moderate Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The Mind Aerobics Suite is made up of several levels of programs which attempt to provide participants with a full brain workout, focusing on cognitive training that systematically stimulates the six major cognitive domains. NECC staff and research partners believe that the promising results of the Mind Aerobics Suite are attributable to several factors: the programs are research-based with the goal of developing innovative interventions based on a model of purposeful cognitive stimulation; a multi-disciplinary approach is utilized in developing and modifying programs; a comprehensive curriculum is designed for each program level; each activity is developed to play an integral role in the overall program; a social model is used at all program levels; and educational best practices are utilized to produce activities that participants find to be both challenging and enjoyable.
Spoon River College Retirees Leading Initiative
The goal of the Retirees leading Initiative is to recruit, train, and support retirees who will fill leadership roles in the Local Community, the Regional Economy, and as Educators for each other. The program is a collaborative leadership project for the Canton area promoting lifelong learning and experiences that utilizes the skills and talents of retirees, while expanding opportunities for volunteerism.
The BrainWorks Grandbuddies Program
Grandbuddies pairs older adults with children, ages 9 thru 14 for the purpose of promoting cognitive health, fostering meaningful intergenerational understanding, increasing social contact, purpose, and dynamic activity for older adults, and encouraging learning toward an increased brain healthy lifestyle.
Insights from neuroscience are transformed into memorable moments that inspire learning, change, and connection. In structure, Grandbuddies is the combination of a class and a health fair. Key players include older adults; school aged children, and a facilitator. Parents and teachers wished to join, and the program accommodated.
Participants are immersed in information about their brain through hands on activity stations, didactic teaching, and team exercises. Each adult/child team is charged with developing their own 3-item action plan for incorporating brain health into their lives. They develop an accountability plan for how they will stick to their plan throughout the program together. This often includes letter writing; weekly activity logs and face-to-face conversations about their efforts. At the end of the series, they share how they did and how many of their new brain health action steps they maintained.
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