ICAA Names Asbury Innovator of the Year

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Brain Fitness Course Guides Participants Through All Facets of Brain Health

We’re proud to announce that the International Council on Active Aging has named Asbury Methodist Village a 2014 Innovator of the Year for its Brain Waves wellness program. Asbury will receive its award at ICAA’s annual conference in Orlando in November.

Memory loss – and keeping your brain in good working order – is a growing concern among adults of all ages. When a resident approached Asbury’s wellness staff to discuss brain fitness last year, associate Susan Grotenhuis rose to the challenge. She became a certified Brain Fitness Facilitator and developed Brain Waves – an eight-week course offering a comprehensive look at how the brain functions and what we can do to maximize brain health as we get older. Topics include brain-healthy foods, the effect of exercise, how to reduce brain-damaging stress and how to stay mentally engaged. Class sessions include discussions and practical exercises.

The curriculum includes brain anatomy, brain basics, an introduction to the aging brain, exercise and coordination, seeing and perceiving, seeing and listening, brain food, relaxation exercises, memory power, language and listening, social connection and overall brain fitness tips. Most notably, the class includes a final project in which the participants are asked to research a topic or learn a new skill and give a formal presentation to the class.

The class is continually evolving, but current highlights include:

  • Guided field trips where participants are challenged to observe for later recall
  • Field trips where participants navigate their way to different points using a map 
  • Cooking lesson with brain-healthy ingredients
  • Brain-focused Interval Training alternating physical activity with brain games

The ICAA is an organization committed to expanding supporting and promoting active-aging industry, focusing on professionals who develop wellness environments and services for adults over 50. Inverness Village, Asbury's sister community in Tulsa, Okla., also won a 2014 Innovators Award for its Blue Zones program focusing on the nine common denominators to longevity outlined in Dan Buettner's Blue Zones book. This is Asbury Communities' third ICAA win. In 2011, Calvert County, Md., community, Asbury Solomons, won an Innovator of the Year Award for its Taste of America series.

Read Susan Grotenhuis's Five Steps to Happier, Healthier Brain here.


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