Give your brain & body a boost!
The Alzheimer Society Minds in Motion® program launches in Brain Awareness Month
"She is challenging herself physically, using those muscles she needs to get out of a chair, to go upstairs." This comment is a tribute to the power of Minds in Motion®, an Alzheimer Society program launching in 12 Ontario communities in March for Brain Awareness Month. Designed for people with early to mid-stage signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and their care partners, Minds in Motion incorporates physical activity and mental stimulation as a way of helping people live well with the disease, while encouraging care partners to take care of themselves as well.
If only 10% of currently inactive Ontarians were to become active in accordance with the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, up to 1,200 individuals could decrease their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Less than half of Ontario’s older adults get the recommended 2 ½ hours of physical activity per week, despite growing evidence that mental and social stimulation develop connections between brain cells, which in turn maintains cognitive functions longer. Minds in Motion has built its program incorporating 45 minutes of physical exercise and 45 minutes of mentally stimulating activities.Minds in Motion was first introduced in 2009 in British Columbia, in response to a need for community-based programming for people with early dementia and their care partners that did not make participants feel marginalized or embarrassed. There are now over 20 programs across BC. Enthusiastic care partners say, "My partner with dementia is clear-headed after the class for 2 or 3 days." People with dementia are just as keen with comments like,"It gets us out of the house. It’s great for our brains. It gets us socializing with other people."
The social aspect of the program is a critical success factor. People with dementia often feel isolated because of the stigma associated with the disease. Minds in Motion promotes an environment that helps participants establish friendships with others who are living similar experiences.The social aspect of the program is a critical success factor. People with dementia often feel isolated because of the stigma associated with the disease. Minds in Motion promotes an environment that helps participants establish friendships with others who are living similar experiences.
The Alzheimer Society of Ontario is launching the program in collaboration with six local Alzheimer Societies, thanks to start-up funds from the Ontario Brain Institute. Other provincial partners include the Older Adult Centres Association of Ontario and Parks and Recreation Ontario.