Menorah Park Center 4 Brain Health™: A Local Model for Education, Engagement and Support for Community-Dwelling Adults
Krystal L. Culler
Menorah Park Center 4 Brain Health™, Global Brain Health Institute, Youngstown State University
Introduction Engagement in cognitive based pursuits and meaningful activities can help offset the symptom progression among individuals with memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Epidemiological evidence continues to show that mentally active lifestyles are associated with slower rates of cognitive decline and later onset of dementia. The Center 4 Brain Health™ is the first non-pharmacological, non-hospital-based brain health center located on a senior living campus in the United States. Created upon four pillars of brain health – Cognitive Fitness, Emotional Wellness, Social Well Being, and Personal Health – this community-based “model” for brain health provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to helping community members, professionals and campus residents understand, implement and improve brain health throughout Northeast Ohio and nationally.
Objectives The center emphasizes a psychosocial “model” of brain health through extensive programming that includes: education, engagement and support for individuals diagnosed and not diagnosed with brain health issues. Efforts focus on raising awareness about brain health, educational outreach, and the rapid translation of current scientific research (from the fields of: health neuroscience, cognitive aging, health psychology, gerontology, etc.) into actionable steps for program participants.
Methods Initial community research demonstrated that the pre-diagnosed was an under-served population in Northeast Ohio. The center completes a continuum of care to allow individuals with dementia, as well as, aging adults with brain health concerns to be supported in the community. This presentation will explore the innovative model to creating a community-based center for brain health, participant data, and program evaluation surveys Community participation has more than doubled within two years and professional education and training engagement has increased by fifteen times the initial number- impacting over 4,000 individuals. Program evaluations and participant feedback indicate that our brain-based education is unique to our area and class participants have traveled over 70 miles and upwards of 1.5 hours to attend a class at the center expanding our reach well beyond our local community. Our approach provides support for individuals and families addressing a variety of brain health concerns.
Conclusions The Center strives to lead the way to translate the latest evidence-based brain health research into everyday practices for adults and serve as a national and international “model” for non-pharmacological, non-hospital based brain health centers.