La Crosse County Health Department Offers Brain Fitness Program for Seniors, Supported by Otto Bremer Foundation Grant
La Crosse, WI – Oct. 2, 2014 – Smart Seniors, a program that provides training in brain fitness will begin Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. The program is sponsored by a $50,000, Otto Bremer Foundation grant awarded in June, 2014 to the La Crosse County Health Department.
The program utilizes an evidence based curriculum and involves community partners in facilitating program lessons. Partners include: Aging and Disability Resource Center of La Crosse County, Alzheimer’s Association, Mayo Health System, Gundersen Health System, UW-La Crosse Learning in Retirement, Springbrook, La Crosse County Aging Unit and Strong Senior Program staff.
The overwhelming success and growth of Strong Seniors, a strength training program, lead Health Department staff to look at ways to address other interests of the growing older adult population. “The tail end of the baby boom generation has turned 50,” said Dawn McFadden, Smart Seniors leader. “Retirement and living successfully into retirement is a focus of those 50 and over. If we can help older adults maintain cognitive “Brain” health, they will more likely be able to live with independence and reduce the development of dementia. “
The Otto Bremer Foundation grant will support the offering and promotion of Smart Seniors over the course of the fall 2014 and spring of 2015. A soft promotion through Strong Seniors program participants and the La Crosse County Aging Unit resulted in over 50 calls for 35 spots in the first program slated to begin October 3, 2014. Informal needs assessment will help staff look at other avenues to provide healthy aging programs for seniors, but additional funding will be needed to maintain the offering beyond June 2015.
Created in 1944, the Otto Bremer Foundation assists people in achieving full economic, civic and social participation in and for the betterment of their communities. The Foundation strives to help build healthy, vibrant communities in the places that are homes and neighbors to Bremer banks – communities where basic needs are met, mutual regard is prized and opportunities for economic, civic and social participation are within everyone’s reach.