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Brain Fitness Programs For Seniors Housing, Healthcare and Insurance Providers: Evaluation Checklist

Dur­ing the research phase before the pub­li­ca­tion of the spe­cial report Brain Fit­ness Cen­ters in Seniors Hous­ing — A Field in the Mak­ing, pub­lished by the Amer­i­can Seniors Hous­ing Asso­ci­a­tion (ASHA), we real­ized that there were equal amounts of inter­est and con­fu­sion among exec­u­tives and pro­fes­sion­als think­ing about adding computer-based cog­ni­tive exer­cise prod­ucts to their mix of health & well­ness activ­i­ties, so we included the Eval­u­a­tion Check­list that follows.

The real-life expe­ri­ences at lead­ing orga­ni­za­tions such as Senior Star Liv­ing, Bel­mont Vil­lage Senior Liv­ing, Erick­son Retire­ment Com­mu­ni­ties and oth­ers were instru­men­tal in the devel­op­ment of the Check­list. We hope it is useful.

Brain Fit­ness Pro­grams For Seniors Hous­ing, Health­care and Insur­ance Providers: Eval­u­a­tion Checklist

Over the next sev­eral years, it is likely that many seniors hous­ing oper­a­tors will begin to care­fully eval­u­ate a grow­ing num­ber of options to include “brain fit­ness cen­ters” in their communities.

Some options will require pur­chas­ing a device, such as Nin­tendo prod­ucts, or the Dakim touch-screen sys­tem. Oth­ers will require installing soft­ware in PCs in exist­ing or new com­puter labs, such as Posit Sci­ence, Cogmed or CogniFit’s pro­grams. Oth­ers will be fully avail­able online, such as those offered by Lumos Labs, Happy Neu­ron and My Vig­or­ous Mind. And still oth­ers may be technology-free, promis­ing engag­ing com­bi­na­tions of inter­ac­tive, group-based, activ­i­ties with pen-and-paper exercises.

Cre­at­ing a solid busi­ness case will help com­mu­ni­ties nav­i­gate through this grow­ing array of options. We sug­gest com­mu­ni­ties con­sider this Sharp­Brains Check­list for Brain Fit­ness Centers:

1. Early Users: Who among our res­i­dents is ready and will­ing to do the pro­gram? How are they react­ing to the pilot test­ing of the program?

2. Cog­ni­tive ben­e­fits: What are the spe­cific ben­e­fits claimed for using this pro­gram? Under what sce­nario of use (how many hours/week, how many weeks)? What spe­cific cog­ni­tive skill(s) does the pro­gram train? How will we mea­sure progress? Read the rest of this entry »

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