Menopause

Transforming Your Aging Brain Joyfully: A Book Giveaway!

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A post by aging experts Linda Stoler and Gretchen Espinetti:

Barbara, thank you for inviting us to visit your blog!  We’re excited to get the word out about our book, Transforming Your Aging Brain, to introduce the joyful Multi-Modal Method (MMM) that makes such a difference in our overall wellness as we age.

We know that the MMM works because we have experienced the transformation in our professional and personal lives.

Many years ago, after fifteen frustrating years working with children in speech pathology using traditional methods, Linda, while on a sabbatical, spent time getting in touch with her authentic creativity. Linda saw that music, movement, manual motion (sign language) and mindful meditation made a startling difference in the children she taught as she returned to her work in speech pathology.

The MMM has worked very well with Linda’s 94 year old mother with dementia, others in assisted living with dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as Gretchen’s father who is in the early stages of dementia.

We’ve done extensive research to support our “theories” so that we could present the book in a way that would be credible for the professional community as well as for the average person caring for an aging parent or loved one.  The book is also intended for seniors over 50 who are looking for ways to enhance their own well being as they age.

We have researched studies that have proved that our brains actually continue to rewire and reactivate as we age. Our book offers techniques to exchange negative messages of the past for an elevated, positive outlook.  Studies prove that a holistic, positive approach to life can actually prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia in many people.  There is evidence from autopsies showing  that though Alzheimer’s was in the brain during life, the elders with a positive outlook showed no signs of it.

We’ve offered evidence that supports our premise that fun, creativity, movement, music, meditation, manual motion, good nutrition, plenty of water, and so much more,  can make a world of difference in the quality of life for all of us as elders  and caregivers.

In the U.S. and around the world, we are facing a global concern because of such a large aging population. We believe that Transforming Your Aging Brain,  highlights the information and inspiration to teach people how to support and enhance their own emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual well-being in joyful ways!

Giveaway: The authors are giving one copy of Transforming Your Aging Brain to a lucky Friend for the Ride winner. Simply leave a comment by August first saying that you’d like to win.

Author photo- Linda S. Stoler
LINDA S. STOLER, CCC-SLP has more than 40 years of experience developing programs for children, using left brain, logical and cognitive perspectives. She learned that by bringing special needs and typically developing children out from behind their desks and sparking their creative spirits, the outcome was amazing. And so was born the Multi-Modal Method of teaching that Linda has recorded on CD and taught to hundreds, over the years.

When Linda’s talented mother developed dementia in her 90s, Linda exposed her to the sessions with the children, only to discover that her mother’s quality of life instantly included joy, laughter and music once again. Armed with that experience and the knowledge of brain and neuroscience research, Linda developed a seminar for the over 50 crowd, too. This initiative became known as Onto The Next and took on the form of interactive, inspirational seminars.

Author Photo- Dr. Gretchen Espinetti

DR. GRETCHEN ESPINETTI has enjoyed an extensive career in bilingual and early childhood education with an emphasis on multicultural education for children not developed within the culture of their parents. Her studies into neuroscience and the brain led her to use non-traditional methods of teaching including music, drama, dance and sign language. Science has proven that being fluent in more than one language protects us against age-related cognitive decline. Therefore, using the power of neuroplasticity as a preventative for elders facing dementia and Alzheimer’s was realized by this team.

Together, Gretchen and Linda impact the elders in their own lives and seek to make the life of all the aging population around the world one of quality and joy.

Aging, Menopause

Guest Post: A Friend for the Ride Game Brought to You by Cranium Crunches!

Me and Maze

A guest post from game creator Ruth Curran:

….Based on years of observation and data collection, I am absolutely certain that there is at least one elf in my house and, after I go to sleep, she comes out and moves my keys.

I don’t believe she is evil or means any harm – she just messes with my sense of order and keeps me on my toes.  Some days she follows me to work and moves my pens; hides the notebook I used the day before; and gets in the computer to re-arrange my file architecture. 

 Most days, however, all she has to do to get my full attention is to move my keys!

From www.craniumcrunches.wordpress.com    12/2011

At the time I wrote that paragraph, I knew I simply had to find a way to get better at finding those things that I need to get through my day successfully – a way to practice those skills that will help me out smart my elf, AKA my gracefully, aging brain.

And from this Cranium Crunches was born.

Cranium Crunches is a series of photo-based brain puzzles that help players work on cognitive abilities like memory, attention, and problem solving in scenes that remind them of their lives.

Games with photos help practice taking it all in and deciding what is important enough to warrant a spot in our personal storage system – all in the context of life.  My hope is that these games help players improve their cognitive abilities in a positive, fun, and free environment.

How about a sample?

The game you will see below is called One of These Things is Not Like the Others (yes you may sing along).

Barbara picked the photos for the two albums and they are simply perfect!

Playing this game will help you practice two (2) distinct skills that play a huge part in the memory process:  attention and working memory.

Memory challenges come from a breakdown in any part of memory’s multi-step process.

Attention is that first step and the single point of entry into the memory process – you can’t code, store, and recall something you don’t pay attention to.  We are constantly bombarded by messages and bits of information from so many sources and can’t possible pay attention to them all.

Playing One of These Things is Not Like the Others makes you search a scene, focus on everything that is going on in that scene, and pay attention to the details, large and small.

The second skill is making working memory — that function that allows you to remember things long enough to either use them immediately (“Why did I come in this room”), send them to long-term memory for later retrieval (useful items that you need to access some other time), or scrap them (bits and bytes that simply are relevant enough to warrant taking up memory space) – more effective.

The object of the game is to find and click on the one image that is not exactly like the others as quickly as you can.   Solve as many as you can before time runs out.

Ready, set, have fun!  Click the picture  to begin playing!

Me and Maze

About Ruth:  Ruth Curan’s passion and area of intense study and exploration has been the connection between the brain and daily functioning. This passion spurred  www.craniumcrunches.com , a photo-based series of thinking puzzles and games that help work around the effects of age, disease, or injury (TBI) on cognitive functioning and quality of life. Ruth’s primary focus is on using a wide variety of games and “play” – those that inspire players to imagine, use strategies, and focus to succeed — as a path to better thinking, better functioning, and better quality of life.

Photo: Barbara and her grandson Mazen enjoying time together in their pajamas. Photo courtesy Katherine Younger.