Heritage Woods Introduces Computerized Brain Fitness
Date Posted : 12/12/2011
Heritage Woods of McHenry has incorporated a computerized brain fitness system into the community's wellness program for residents.The Dakim system is designed for adults 60+ and takes advantage of touch-screen technology to make it easy for individuals with little or no computer skills to use. The system combines decades of brain health research aimed at preventing or delaying memory loss with enjoyable activities that provide valuable mental stimulation.The brain fitness exercises are programmed into a game show format and include stories, film and music clips, anagrams, and narrated literary passages with special effects. Games include Famous People and Little Known Facts, Word Matching and Jukebox Jitterbug. Questions require the use of short-term memory and deductive reasoning. Doris Chase was one of the first Heritage Woods of McHenry residents to use the Dakim system. The 85-year-old has been a resident of the affordable assisted living community for three years. The former housewife who helped run her family's business likes to challenge her brain and loves brain games."Dakim is great," she says. What she likes best is that it keeps her on her toes and lets her know if she still has her wits about her, says Janet Michel, Resident Services Coordinator at Heritage Woods of McHenry. She finds it interesting and likes the variety of puzzles.Doris also enjoys parties, jigsaw puzzles, cards, bingo, jewelry and crafts.Her family was thrilled to hear that she was using the brain fitness system.Another one of the first Heritage Woods of McHenry residents to use Dakim is Aida Repa, who has lived at the community for 18 months. The retired librarian and mother of six grew up in Chicago. She has always liked to play on the computer.It is a challenge and keeps her on her toes, says Janet. She uses the system four times a week for at least 20 minutes each time.She likes the fact that it is easy to use and fits her schedule because it is available any time of day that someone else is not using it, says Janet.Her family thinks that it is a good thing for her to keep her mind stimulated.Barb Holek started using the Dakim system because it sounded very interesting. Originally from Woodstock, Barb has been a resident of Heritage Woods of McHenry for three years. She is a retired nun who has been involved with many volunteer organizations.At Heritage Woods she enjoys socializing with her friends and feels lucky to now have the brain fitness system available. She feels it will help keep her on her toes.She loves to use the system everyday and loves how simple it is to use with the touchscreen. The programs are fun and not too hard, she says.She adds that when she told her family about the system, they were so interested that she took them to the library to give them a demonstration.The system is highly individualized and self-adjusts automatically to reflect the ability level of the resident who is using the system at the moment. Exercises cover six areas of cognitive domain and are based on neurological tests and research.All it takes for residents to get the most out of the system is a 20-minute session three to five times a week.To ensure that residents using the system are not answering the same questions more than once, content is automatically updated every 24 to 48 hours.
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