By Paula MacDonald
In many ways, the human brain remains a mystery to scientists. It was once thought that by adulthood, the mind, brain and cognitive abilities were not capable of change; but over the last decade, research in the study of neuroplasticity has suggested that the brain is constantly changing in response to new inputs and experiences.
While the brain is not a muscle, research suggests that “working out” the brain can be beneficial to overall health and cognitive functioning.
Developed through a generous grant from the Sun City Center Fund, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the SunTowers Retirement and Rehabilitation Community, MindBoost is a pilot program created by the South Shore Coalition for Mental Health and Aging. The two-hour workshop is designed to educate adults in developing an awareness of brain health and memory improvement.
“For many years, people have gone to great lengths to exercise their bodies through working out and going to the gym,” said Edmond Dubreuil, president of the South Shore Coalition for Mental Health and Aging and owner of the Community Mental Wellness Center in Sun City Center. “With the introduction of the MindBoost curriculum, we want them to understand that it’s just as important to exercise the mind as it is the rest of the body for optimum health.”
Utilizing a series of mental exercises and games, participants in MindBoost workshops are provided with an overview of what memory is and how it works, and how it changes with age. Exercises are performed in class, and there is also a booklet of games sent home for later use, as well as other resources to promote maintenance of mind brain health and wellness.
The next MindBoost workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 30 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Sun City Chamber of Commerce located at 1651 Sun City Center Blvd. Cost to attend is $5 payable at the door, and coffee and doughnuts will be served.
The South Shore Coalition for Mental Health and Aging is also looking for groups and organizations that might be interested in hosting a MindBoost seminar for their members.
They have recently redesigned their Website, MentalHealth AndAging.org, and can be reached by calling 419-4902 or e-mailing Office@MentalHealthAndAging.org.