The 2009 Mindalert Awards Programs Tout Technology, the Performing Arts and a Boot Camp for the Brain

Aging Today, March/April 2009 | Go to article overview

The 2009 Mindalert Awards Programs Tout Technology, the Performing Arts and a Boot Camp for the Brain


Educational programs in the performing arts, brain fitness and technology garnered this year's ASA-MetLife Foundation MindAlert Awards, which recognize innovation in mental fitness programming for older adults. The four award winners were honored at a March 18 luncheon during the recent 2009 ASANCOA Aging in America Conference in Las Vegas.

This year's awards, given in the categoi-ics orirretong learning and general mental fitness, went to me Gerontechnology Consortium of Westchester, Mount Vernon, N. Y.; the Performing Arts Program, University of Delaware Academy of Lifelong Learning, Wilmington; the Performing Arts Training Program (PATI) of Stagebridge Theatre, Oakland, Calif.; and the Memory Academy, Castro Valley, Calif.

TECHNOLOGY AND WELL-BEING

Gerontechnology Consortium of Westchester is a multifaceted research collaboration formed by a number of New York educational and senior service program providers, including Pace University, Westchester Community College, United Hebrew Geriatric Center and other Westchester County agencies. In the Consortium's program, undergraduate students participate in an intergenerational, service-learning computer course and give one-on-one computer skills instruction to elders living in geriatric centers. The program helps elders conquer their fear of technology by introducing them to the basics of e-mail, Web searching and other Internet uses, and promotes mental fitness, social bonding and civic engagement. The student instructors benefit by learning computing technology, teaching skills and about the aging process. The program has measurably improved the quality of life, well-being and cognitive skills of elders who have participated, and the student teachers have formed meaningful relationships with their older adult pupils. For more information, visit http://support.csis. pace. edu/csisweb/news_byte_25. html.

LEARNING FOR LIFE

The University of Delaware's Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL) gives its student membership of adults, ages 50 and over, opportunities for creative expression, building cognitive reserve and forming social connections through ALL's performing arts program. The program, integrated into the Academy's overall curriculum, uses volunteer instructors, from ages 50 to 90, to teach more than 30 courses in singing, folk dancing, playing musical instruments and educated listening. ALL's performing arts classes welcome beginning to advanced students: - and even professional level performers - who wish to participate and share in the per- formance experi- ence. Recent re- search shows mat learning in the performing arts stimulates the brain and emo- tions, promotes physical and men- tal health, and sparks social in- teraction. Perfor- ming music and dance with and for otfiers encourages shared experiences and motivates learning. …

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