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Medicine - Family & Geriatric Medicine | Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults

Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults

A Guide to the Use and Development of Community-Based Programs

HARTMAN-STEIN, PAULA, LaRue, Asenath (Eds.)

2011, XXII, 499 p. 17 illus.

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  • Highlights the research foundations behind brain fitness
  • Showcases innovative community programs to promote mental fitness in adults with cognitive impairment
  • Emphasizes the nuts and bolts of setting up and utilizing cognitive health programs in the community

Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults

A Guide for Use and Development of Community-Based Programs


Paula E. Hartman-Stein and Asenath La Rue, editors



One of the major milestones of aging research is the concept that dementia is not a one-cause, one-effect disorder. From this realization, scores of research-based cognitive wellness programs have been established alongside traditional medical interventions to help older adults deal with memory decline, cognitive deficits,and other signs of brain aging.


Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults takes a wellness-support rather than a disease-based approach to its subject, presenting a wide range of promising interventions among the diversity that is currently being offered, from intergenerational volunteer programs, writing workshops, and multimedia strategies to meditation,biofeedback, nutrition, and exercise. Introductory chapters discuss the findings driving the cognitive-wellness movement, and the possible roles such programs may have in preserving critical brain resources, increasing cognitive flexibility, and avoiding devastating brain decline for improved quality of life in older adults. Areas of coverage include:


  • Research bases for cognitive wellness interventions.
  • Social programs designed to improve and sustain cognitive function.
  • Enhancing cognition through the arts and cultural activities.
  • Cognitive wellness interventions for adults with memory impairment.
  • Community-based programs with positive societal impact.


A cogent survey of a growing field, Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults is a timely resource for professionals working toward this crucial goal,including clinical, health, and neuropsychologists, primary care physicians(e.g., geriatricians, internists, family physicians), and clinical social workers.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Adult communities - Alzheimer’s disease - Brain fitness - Brain plasticity - Cognitive enhancement - Cognitive impairment - Cognitive skills - Dementia - Healthy aging - Intergenerational schools - Memory disorders - Memory enhancement - Mild cognitive impairment - Narrative therapy - Odyssey Program - Pathological aging - Posit Science - Retirement communities - Senility - Senior centers - Senior communities - Story telling therapy

Related subjects » Family & Geriatric Medicine - Neurology - Psychology

Table of contents 

Part I: Research Foundations of Brain Fitness Interventions.- Brain plasticity in aging and early-stage dementia.- Lessons learned from training interventions.- Part II: Community-Based Programs to Enhance and Sustain Healthy Aging.- Memory enhancement strategies: What is known, and what is new?.- Keys to a Sharp Mind: Results of a model program designed by retirees in an independent living community.- The Odyssey program: Friendly competition to boost cognitive fitness.- Spelling Bees for Older Adults: Creating an old fashioned cognitive–social event in your community, or Why does the AARP host a nationwide spelling contest for people over 50? .- Intergenerational schools: Educational models for the future? .- Programs emphasizing engagement in the arts.- TimeSlips and other narrative therapies: How story telling helps older adults.- Home and cognitive fitness: Utilizing "Posit Science," electronic games, and Internet programs at home, in senior centers, and in retirement communities.- Exercise and cognitive fitness in late life: Recommendations from an exercise physiologist.- University Without Walls for seniors: Use of teleconferencing to reduce isolation and increase cognition.- Part III: Cognitive Wellness Interventions for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment.- Helping the older adult with mild cognitive impairment.- Programs that caregivers can implement: What Maria Montessori knew about helping frail elders.- How can speech therapy promote cognitive skills.- The role of medications and supplements.

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