Wits Workout is a peer-reviewed, pilot tested, brain health resource tool developed to assist leaders who provide programming to older adults in community settings. Based on the research that intellectual challenge and social connectedness are two of several factors that contribute to brain health throughout life, Wits Workout has two main goals—to provide purposeful opportunities for older adults to engage intellectually, and to increase their socialization through ongoing group participation.
This 264 page facilitator’s guide consists of 24 themed units, each accommodating a 60–90 minute face-to-face program. Length of the session can be modified by the number of activities utilized. Sessions can be offered weekly, biweekly, or monthly, and can stand alone or be presented as a series.
- Better Brain Health for You and Your Clients - Have you ever gone into a room and forgotten why you went in there? Have you ever misplaced your keys, glasses, or cell phone? Have you ever forgotten what you were just about to say? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you are not alone! It is important to note that everyone forgets things now and again, as episodes of absentmindedness happen throughout life. Yes, memory does change as we age, but forgetfulness is common for people at all stages of life. This workshop will cover how researchers are examining the memory process and what they find contributes to brain health, as well as strategies for helping with everyday forgetfulness.
- Communication challenges and strategies for helping people with dementia - When a individual has dementia, communication can be very difficult as the disease advances. Forgetfulness, agitation, repetition, and mood fluctuations can make interactions and caregiving stressful and frustrating, and many worry that they will say or do the wrong thing and make matters worse. Learn about common communication problems caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and strategies for better interactions and visits.
- Staying Active to Improve Your Memory - Join Neal Cohen, PhD, Director of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, as he presents brain health and aging research. Through his presentation,participants will learn about the hippocampal memory system, how neuro-imaging systems can show quantifiable changes in the brain that can lead to improved memory outcomes.