These days the recreation calendar of most long-term care facilities has moved way beyond the bingo-heavy schedule of yesteryear. Residents are likely to find live music, current events, religious programs, pet therapy, crafts, Wii sports, and trivia games among their options. This abundance of choices makes it likely that residents will find enjoyable ways to spend their time and some of these activities (including bingo) help to keep the mind sharp. Staff members interested in “kicking it up a notch” and creating programs specifically focused on enhancing cognitive capacity will find a roadmap in this resource, Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults: A Guide to the Use and Development of Community-Based Programs, edited by psychologists Paula E. Hartman-Stein and Asenath LaRue. The book “will highlight the research foundations behind brain fitness interventions as well as showcase innovative community-based programs to maintain and promote mental fitness and intervene with adults with cognitive impairment. The emphasis is on illustrating the nuts and bolts of setting up and utilizing cognitive health programs in the community, not just the laboratory.” The book includes chapters on oral life review, intergenerational groups, incorporating the arts, and Montessori-based methods for engaging persons with dementia. Part Five of the book, Gaining Through Giving Back: Programs with a Positive Societal Impact, outlines ways of improving quality of life for residents by helping them give back to the community — a concept near and dear to my heart.
On another note, Editor Paula Hartman-Stein, below, is offering two workshops for psychologists and social workers interested in learning more about the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). Visit her website at Center for Healthy Aging for more information.