Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Ellen Somers: Staying sharp by continually learning and teaching about brain health

Ellen Somers

Ellen Somers, MA, LMHC

What is your name, job title and orga­ni­za­tion, and what excites you the most about work­ing there?
As Coor­di­na­tor of  Cog­ni­tive Health Ser­vices at St. Camil­lus Cen­ters, I am always look­ing for new ways to devel­op our pro­grams and ser­vices as the field of brain health evolves.

Please tell us about your inter­est in applied brain sci­ence. What areas are you most inter­est­ed in? What moti­vat­ed you to pur­sue work in your field?
Over the years, my focus on demen­tia care has expand­ed into an inter­est in pre­ven­tion and brain health main­te­nance. I par­tic­u­lar­ly enjoy work­ing with per­sons with mild impair­ment that are moti­vat­ed to improve their cog­ni­tive skills.

What is one impor­tant thing you are work­ing on now, and where can peo­ple learn more about it? 
Teach­ing a new adult edu­ca­tion course called “Life­long Brain Health” that inte­grates infor­ma­tion from sev­er­al resources, and fea­tures The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness.

What are 1–2 key things you’d like every per­son to under­stand regard­ing his/ her own brain and mind, that you think is com­mon­ly mis­rep­re­sent­ed or not addressed in the pop­u­lar media? 
More com­mu­ni­ty-based edu­ca­tion pro­grams that are evi­dence-based (I see quite a few pro­grams out there that seem “flashy” but don’t appear to be based on much research).

What sur­prised you the most at the 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Sum­mit? 
Maybe not “sur­prised” per se, but I was­n’t famil­iar with a good num­ber of the new­er tech­nolo­gies that are becom­ing avail­able.

Final­ly, what do YOU do to stay sharp? 
Above all, con­tin­u­al­ly learn­ing and teach­ing new mate­ri­als on brain health. Also, dai­ly aer­o­bic exer­cise, plea­sure read­ing, and tai chi.

2013 SharpBrains Summit—This con­ver­sa­tion is part of the inter­view series with Speak­ers and Par­tic­i­pants in the 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Sep­tem­ber 19–20th). Pre­vi­ous inter­views include:

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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