Pro­gram helps se­niors ex­er­cise their brains, im­prove mem­ory

Souderton Independent - - DATEBOOK - By Linda Stein

5HVLGHnWV DW 7KH BLrFKHV DW Ar­bor Square in Har­leysville are us­ing a new com­puter pro­gram to ex­er­cise their brains and im­prove their mem­ory.

The res­i­dents have been us­ing the Posit Sci­ence pro­grams since June, said Janet Huf­fer, as­sis­tant ac­tiv­ity di­rec­tor. The var­i­ous pro­grams im­prove lis­ten­ing and mem­ory through play­ing spe­cially de­signed com­puter games like “High or Low,” “Tell us Apart” and “Match It.”

Doris He­im­bach, 86, for­merly of Sellersville, said the games are “kind of tough.”

Her fa­vorite is “Lis­ten and Do.” She’d never used a com­puter be­fore but Huf­fer helped her log in and set up the game.

CODrD “BDEH” 6LnJOHy, 86, IRrmerly of Soud­er­ton, lives at Ar­bor Square, where res­i­dents live in­de­pen­dently, but she vol­un­teers DW 7KH BLrFKHV, Dn DVVLVWHG OLYLnJ fa­cil­ity that’s ad­ja­cent. Sin­g­ley was also us­ing the Posit Sci­ence pro­grams re­cently.

“I love it,” said Sin­g­ley. “It re­laxes me. It re­ally slowed me down. I thought I knew it all. I like to ‘Match It.’ It re­ally keeps you go­ing.”

Diane horn­feind, 80, a for­mer Chicago res­i­dent who came to 7KH BLrFKHV Ln 2011, VDLG, “, ORYH it here.” She en­joys play­ing all the com­puter games. “There’s not one I like bet­ter. I like the chal­lenge of it, even if I don’t get them all.”

horn­feind said play­ing the games helps to “wake up” her brain.

The com­puter sta­tions are set up Ln D VLWWLnJ rRRP Ln 7KH BLrFKHV that fea­tures a large bird cage with WwHHWLnJ ELrGV fly­LnJ IrRP SHrFK to perch. The women wear head­phones to hear the com­mands from the com­puter pro­gram so they do not dis­turb oth­ers.

Jeannine English, ex­ec­u­tive GLrHFWRr RI 7KH BLrFKHV, VDLG WKH com­pany that owns the fa­cil­i­ties, Her­itage Se­nior Liv­ing, “in­vested in this pro­gram” for the res­i­dents to use to im­prove their cog­ni­tion.

“te’re pleased at the par­tic­i­pa­tion level,” English said. There are 85 rHVLGHnWV DW 7KH BLrFKHV, EuW WKH classes are for three at a time so the res­i­dents have in­di­vid­ual at­ten­tion from the in­struc­tor, she said.

“Many haven’t used a com­puter be­fore so we’re start­ing with ba­sic skills,” she said. The three ladies in the class have touted it to other res­i­dents so there is now a wait­ing list, she said.

“Some res­i­dents are chomp­ing at the bit to get in­volved,” said English.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion from Posit Sci­ence, which is based in San Fran­cisco, the com­puter pro­grams are based on re­search into neu­ro­science that shows that ag­ing brains can be strength­ened and can change at any age.

Mean­while, harli Sweeney, an eighth-grade stu­dent at In­dian Val­ley Mid­dle School, has vol­un­teered to come in and help the res­i­dents with the Posit Sci­ence pro­grams, said Huf­fer.

Huf­fer has used the pro­grams her­self and be­lieves they have im­proved her mem­ory. She said she now beats her 10-year-old grand­son play­ing the game “Mem­ory.”

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “te ex­er­cise our mus­cles. te need to ex­er­cise our minds.”

Photo for the In­de­pen­dent GE­OFF PATTON

Clara “Babe” Sin­g­ley, 86, dons head­phones dur­ing a brain ex­er­cise ses­sion at The Birches in Lower Sal­ford Town­ship.

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