Cowichan News Leader

Program powers up the aging brain

The phone
The phone's been ringing off the hook with folks wanting to sign up for the Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation's Brain Fitness program. The current session is full but CSCF's Carol Hunt and Vicki Holman (pictured) are taking names for upcoming sessions.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf

Growing old does not have to mean losing your mental edge.

Brain power activities that can help keep your brain sharp are garnering quite the buzz in the community, according to Carol Hunt.

The executive director for the Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation says she's seen a huge amount of interest shown in the foundation's second run at a Brain Fitness Program for seniors.

The eight-session program which started yesterday covers the anatomy of the brain, memory techniques, socialization and activation, nutrition for healthy brain function, and plenty of exercises to add to the daily routine.

"Brain power is an ongoing thing. It doesn't end when the eight sessions are up," Hunt said, pumped to hear participants from the last session have kept in touch and meet regularly for walking engagements and group activities.

This, to Hunt, is a testament to the program's success.

"They keep each other mindful," she said.

Hunt's also tickled the foundation has "taken the bull by the horns" by filling what she says was a huge gap in brain power activities in Cowichan.

"Brain fitness has been offered in other communities like Nanaimo and Victoria through the Vancouver Island Health Authority," Hunt states in a press release. "In the Cowichan region, the gap is filled by the CSCF."

"There's a huge problem," she added, noting Cowichan seniors are often assessed for signs of dementia and Alzheimer's, which is great, but what comes next if there are risks shown?

It's quite evident in the number of names on the wait list, seniors are keen to tune their cognitive functions.

After much research into the activities and  topics used in similar programs, Hunt came up with the first run, loosely based off other programs, but unique on its own.

Participants take home a ton of knowledge, connections with other folks living in their community, and a huge binder for future reference.

On this session's agenda, which runs until March 21, is a talk with Cowichan's Denise Code, who will be informing folks about diet and nutrition for healthy brain function.

The course is free, but a $5 donation is requested to cover the cost of handouts, refreshments and other related costs.

Hunt is encouraging anyone interested to get their name on the wait list.

She's also hoping the program will see sponsors step forward to keep it flowing on a regular basis.

To sign up, call 250-715-6481.

 

 

 

 

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