Promoting Healthy Living for Seniors: Evaluation of a Community-Based Program
Keywords:Healthy aging, memory strategies, leisure education
A healthy lifestyle that addresses modifiable risk factors is beneficial for promoting brain health in older adults. Grey Matters, a community-based therapeutic recreation specialist (TRS) led group intervention, focuses on promoting healthy aging and use of practical memory strategies. Grey Matters participants (adults aged 55 years or more) completed questionnaires pre- and post-program about healthy aging, use of memory strategies and their memory abilities. Participants’ behavioral change was surveyed immediately post-program and six to eight months later. Participants significantly increased both their knowledge about lifestyle factors and use of memory strategies. Short- and long-term behavioral change occurred in the small subset of participants surveyed. This community-based TRS led program helped older adults utilize memory strategies, increase their knowledge of proactive lifestyle factors that they could use to reduce the risk of future memory loss and motivate behavior change. This is an emerging role for therapeutic recreation.
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