Media Contact: Anne Saita
New Glenner Program Aims to Boost Brain Fitness
San Diego, CA — May 8, 2013 — A new six-week program from Glenner Memory Care Centers in San Diego will give senior citizens tips and techniques to improve brain fitness and memory function. Unlike other “brain fitness” programs, the Glenner Memory Connection Institute will take a more holistic approach to brain health by addressing the importance of cognitive training, physical fitness, good nutrition and social activity.
“Research on brain health shows that healthy, active brains have a ‘cognitive reserve’ that results in fewer manifestations of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and maintains healthy brain cells for a longer period of time of up to five years,” said Glenner CEO Anette Asher. “The activities most correlated with high cognitive reserve are performing challenging mental tasks, physical fitness and socializing. And we’ve seen evidence that we can encourage healthy brain function and cognition.”
The importance of this can’t be overstated, Asher noted. She cited a study that projects that delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms by as little as five years would reduce the population of Alzheimer’s patients by approximately 50 percent.
The Glenner MCI program is designed for a diverse clientele — including high-functioning individuals diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, individuals experiencing some degree of normal age-related memory loss, as well as anyone concerned about potential memory loss. Sessions are limited to 10 participants who meet twice a week for six weeks. The first session begins May 14 in Hillcrest, with additional sessions planned throughout San Diego County. Classes combine formal education with social, creative and physical activity, and cover such topics as:
- How the brain works
- Coping with a declining memory
- Physical fitness and brain health
- Social activity and brain health
- Self-esteem and gratitude
- Stress and relaxation
- Optimism and brain health
- Verbal and nonverbal communication
- Improving memory by using all of the senses
- Remembering names
“Glenner is uniquely positioned to undertake this type of brain health program,” Asher noted. “We have a history of providing programs for professionals, Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers; a staff known for its deep understanding of the full range of dementia-related illnesses; and an advisory board known for their special expertise in the fields of dementia and geriatric medicine.
“The timing also seemed right, with baby boomers nearing retirement, especially here in San Diego.”
According to a San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) study, the 65-and-over population in San Diego County will surpass 722,000 by 2030, a 130 percent increase from 2000, with the general population expected to grow by only 38 percent. These figures, coupled with growing concern expressed in surveys about Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases, indicate a growing need for programs to arm baby boomers with accurate and actionable brain health information. Glenner staff will assess participants’ cognitive, physical, nutritional and social wellbeing at the beginning and end of the Brain Fitness program, and provide feedback as to strengths and weaknesses.
“We intend to show participants how simple changes to one’s daily routine and lifestyle can provide positive long-term memory benefits, as well as help manage depression, anxiety and other symptoms,” said Dawn DeStefani, BSW, Glenner’s director of programs and services and course instructor.
The Glenner Memory Care Centers of San Diego specialize in high-quality, adult day programs for patients with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Established more than 30 years ago as an alternative to nursing homes, in-home care and other more costly options, the nonprofit organization operates facilities in Encinitas, Hillcrest and South Bay. Registered nurses and specially trained staff oversee programs, and monitor patient medications and vital signs.
GLENNER RECEIVES UP TO $20,00 GRANT FROM DEL MAR HEALTHCARE FUND
(SAN DIEGO) MARCH 4, 2013 – The Del Mar Healthcare Fun at The San Diego Foundation today awarded The Glenner Memory Care Centers a grant of up to $20,000. The grant is to support socialization programs for older adults as part of the 2013 Our Aging Society Program of The San Diego Foundation, presented by Del Mar Healthcare.
Some $10,000 was immediately for tablets and staff costs for a new program the non-profit organization is launching for seniors with an interest in brain health and wellness. Through the grant, Glenner will be purchasing iPads and brain fitness software for use in our new Glenner Memory Connection Institute. The iPads will also be used in each of the three Glenner Centers and during weekly caregiver support groups.
Up to $10,000 also is available as a matching program for scholarships for attendees of the Glenner MCI.
This is the third year the Del Mar Healthcare Fund has supported local organizations with grants aimed at the senior community.
This year the fund broadened the number of grantees to 16, each of whom shared their missions and plans for the grants at the event. Dawn DeStefani, Glenner Director of Programs & Services, and Anne Saita, Marketing and Development Manager, were on hand to accept the check.
About Glenner Memory Care Centers
The Glenner Memory Care Centers provide specialized adult day programs and family resources for families caring for loved ones with dementia and other memory impairments, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body, Parkinson’s Disease, vascular dementia, and many other diseases, as well as the frail elderly. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, it has served San Diego County since 1982 and is believed to be one of the oldest dementia-specific programs of its kind in the nation. Learn more at www.glenner.org.
November 6, 2012: SDG&E Donates $2,500 to Support South Bay Seniors
August 2, 2012: Glenner Centers Receives $10,000 from Klauber Endowment Fund
June 26, 2012: Las Primeras Donates $2,000 to Glenner Center South Bay
April 20, 2012: Alpha Chi Chapter Raises Funds to Help Improve Glenner Centers
April 5, 2012: Anette Asher Named CEO for The Glenner Memory Care Centers