Earlier this month I read online a New York Times piece on updated guidelines from the American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatrics Society on preventing falls in older adults.
The updated guidelines recommend Tai Chi, an ancient, balance training practice. Two mornings each week in one of our upstairs conference rooms, you can find 10 seniors putting this recommendation into action.
Tai Chi is a core component of our Brain Builders Club, a program developed by the older adults department at JF&CS. Not only can it prevent falls, but learning and practicing Tai Chi can help to strengthen and enhance brain function to prevent cognitive decline as we age.
Now in our third year, the Brain Builders Club is an eight-week program, holding classes twice a week. Class participants attend instructor-led workshops on computer training, creative writing and Tai Chi stretching exercises.
Each of the workshop topics are designed to teach new skills and address one of the three components of cognitive enhancement: brain stimulation, stress reduction and physical activity. Participation in this innovative and fun program is free. Brain Builders Club graduates not only enjoy the workshops; at the end of each eight-week session, many ask to sign up for the next one!
To be eligible for the Brain Builders Club, participants must meet the following criteria:
· Age 65-85
· Be able to get to JF&CS for workshops on their own
· Able to do moderate physical exercise
· Commitment to full, eight-week program
JF&CS currently is recruiting for its spring session of the Brain Builders Club, which begins April 5 and meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9:30am to 12:30pm* at JF&CS (5743 Bartlett Street, Squirrel Hill).
For more information and to apply, please contact Ellie Eisenstat, JF&CS’s Cognitive Enhancement Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.904.5960. To learn more about other JF&CS services for older adults, please visit us online.
*The Brain Builders Club will meet 16 times; the spring session ends June 2 due to holiday make-up days.