Cedarhurst of Edwardsville hope new brain fitness program will help seniors improve mental and physical health in the new year

Ewardsville - Cedarhurst of Edwardsville, a memory care community that opened earlier this in Edwardsville, is making a New Year’s resolution to help its senior residents improve their mental and physical health in 2015 by offering Ageless Grace, a cutting edge brain fitness program designed to exercise the body and activate the brain. Members of the wellness team at Cedarhurst of Edwardsville recently participated in a two-day training seminar to earn their Ageless Grace Educator Certifications.

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“So many of us make New Year’s resolutions to improve our physical health, but mental health exercises are equally if not more important for seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s and memory loss,” said Anne Reynolds, executive director of Cedarhurst of Edwardsville. “Ageless Grace gets the body and brain active and moving together, but in a fun, safe way well suited for our residents.”

Ageless Grace was created by Denise Medved, a North Carolina-based specialist in fitness and wellness instruction. The program is based on the concept of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain and central nervous system to change form and function based on physical activity. The program employs 21 exercise tools that stimulate five brain functions: analytical, strategic, kinesthetic learning, memory/recall and creativity skills.

Each Ageless Grace exercise emphasizes a different “anti-aging” technique, such as joint mobility, balance, spinal flexibility, right brain-left brain coordination, upper body strength, development of new neural pathways, dexterity of the feet and hands, systemic health, oxygenation of the cells, increase self-esteem, confidence and playfulness. The idea behind the program is to keep people moving everyday by exercising the mind and the body. The exercises are for all ages and abilities, and can be performed standing, seated in a chair or on a bed, or behind a chair or down on the floor.

Reynolds added, “You cannot believe how much fun we had just simply exercising in a chair. Ageless Grace makes your mood more positive and we really all felt better after we were done.”

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According to Ageless Grace’s website, research shows that both physical and mental exercise must be combined for optimal lifelong function and graceful aging, and that those with Alzheimer’s must continue to practice movements they are unfamiliar with in order to create new pathways. The National Institute for Aging (NIA) website says that research reports estimate that as many as 5.1 million may suffer from Alzheimer’s. The NIH also says researchers have shown that exercise can stimulate the human brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones that are vital to healthy cognition.

Cedarhurst of Edwardsville just recently integrated Ageless Grace exercises into its overall wellness program. Residents are instructed on the exercises every day for 10 minutes in the morning. Reynolds made the decision to have members of her wellness team receive training and certification so they could have more flexibility to stagger leadership of classes each day.

“Our ownership group is very supportive of this program and recognizes the importance of being trained the right way to maximize the results for our residents,” says Reynolds. “Most of all, they recognize the significant positive impact that physical and mental exercises can have for seniors with memory loss.”

For more information about Cedarhurst of Edwardsville, visit www.edwardsvilleassistedliving.com or call 618.539.8272.

About Cedarhurst of Edwardsville

Cedarhurst of Edwardsville offers 54 memory care apartments in a setting specifically designed to meet the needs of people living with Alzheimer’s and related memory loss. The community is located at 7108 Marine Road in Edwardsville, Illinois.

Based in St. Louis, Mo., Provision Living LLC operates a family of independent living, assisted living and memory care communities for senior adults, across ten states, representing more than 2,200 residents and 1,500 dedicated associates. For more information, call 314-909-9797 visit www.ProvisionLiving.com

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