An estimated 5.4 million Americans live with Alzheimers Disease and the number of people affected by the illness continues to climb. In conjunction with My Second Home, an award-winning adult day program in Mount Kisco, FSW is excited to announce the fall launch of a new program for those individuals who have concerns about their memory and are eager to enhance their cognitive functioning. The innovative, interactive program, called Evening Edition, will provide activities, programming and socialization opportunities that will support the changing biological, psychological and social needs of individuals newly diagnosed with dementia and offer respite to caregivers. The program will provide a farm fresh dinner, physical exercise, technology tutorials and an intergenerational component as teens and tweens will interact with the older adults to exchange ideas and create oral and written histories together.
We have crafted the program to include activities that will help participants have less anxiety and agitation, better emotional control and sleeping patterns, and increased cognitive activity, notes Christy Ruvituso, MSW, who created the program and will serve as Program Coordinator of Evening Edition. The program will be held two days a week between the hours of 3:30 and 7:30 pm. When participants arrive, they will spend the first 30 minutes enjoying a guided life review with peers and staff. This activity will give participants the opportunity to share information about their lives and voice any concerns about memory loss. Next, Evening Edition will provide an intergenerational component, as is customary at My Second Home. Teens and tweens will interact with the older adults, exchanging ideas, building friendships and creating oral and written histories together. An enrichment activity will follow and give participants the chance to experience yoga, Tai chi, music, dance and other beneficial programs. Exercise is so important as we age since it has been shown to increase brain volume and improve overall well-being, notes Christy. She pointed out that an article in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease released this month noted that exercise benefits Alzheimers suffers by decreasing their loneliness and offering them peer support.
Good nutrition is critical as weight loss tends to be an early symptom of memory loss and eating together also leads to a higher consumption of calories and a decrease in stress and depression. Lastly, participants learn about the newest social technology, such as the iPad, Skype and Internet services. As the older adults master the use of these devices and software, they can stay connected to family, friends and the world at large.