Brain Health Bootcamp at JF&CS Strengthens Minds and Mental Health

May 02, 2022

Brain Health Bootcamp at JF&CS Strengthens Minds and Mental Health

JF&CS is committed to the wellbeing of our community, and provides services for people from all walks of life who may be struggling with their mental health. In celebrating of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are highlighting program areas we offer, and stories from our community that focus on the importance of mental health. Today's program spotlight is: Brain Health Bootcamp.

Being diagnosed with memory loss, or even starting to notice symptoms of cognitive decline can be a very scary feeling. Once the memory loss begins, it may feel at times like you are helpless to stop it. But the good news is there are steps you can take to maintain and enhance your memory and brain function.

JF&CS offers two brain health support programs: Brain Health Bootcamp, and Music and Memory. Each program is unique, and uses techniques that are both fun and scientific to help manage and maintain memories and brain health. These programs are extremely beneficial to the mental health of its participants, and provide a sense of empowerment over one's health, as opposed to feeling powerless.

Brain Health Bootcamp is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and emphasizes memory enhancement through cognitive stimulation, physical exercise, education, and socialization. The two-hour classes are divided based on cognitive decline, so that participants are grouped with others in similar situations. The first hour of each class focuses on dance and yoga chair exercises, while the second hour is focused on brain exercises.

“In the second hour, various exercises are done, like listing three things and asking what they have in common, or which one doesn’t belong in the group,” Emily Fain, Geriatric Care Manager at JF&CS, explained. “Participants may hear the beginning of a song and asked if they know the rest of it, or details of a person such as a president of their era and asked if they can name them.”

She went on to say that though these are questions, this class is not a test, and there are no wrong answers.

“There is a never a ‘wrong’ answer if it made them think,” Emily said. “Things like ‘That’s not the answer I was looking for, but I see how you got there,’ or ‘I didn’t even think about that, good job,” are often said in the class. Participants are asked to raise their hand if they know the answer, and no one is ever individually called out.”

Emily stated that the Brain Health Bootcamp classes are about support and encouragement, and that Brain Health Bootcamp helps give attendees a sense of community and belonging.

“For me, one of the best parts of Brain Health Boot Camp is seeing how they all root for each other,” said Emily. “For many of them, this has become their weekly social gathering, and some even go to lunch together after. It’s given them a community and network of friends they can relate to, that they might not have otherwise. Seeing the relationships they have built with each other is amazing.”

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will talk about Music & Memory, our other wonderful brain health program! In the meantime, to learn more about Brain Health Bootcamp, and to sign up, click the button below.