I never used to give the concept of “brain fitness” much thought. After all, I was always able to recall everything on my to-do list (without having to physically write out the list) and I could rattle off phone numbers without looking at a directory or the contacts in my phone. I prided myself on my multi-tasking and gear-shifting prowess.
But, over the past year or so, I noticed unsettling changes that weren’t part of my game plan. I’d misplace my keys or phone. Mid-stride, I’d forget where I was going. Or I would “blank out” on someone’s name—someone I’ve known for years. I had a moment of panic—a fear I was losing it—followed by a cascade of rationalizations, such as I’m too young for that, and there is no history of dementia in my family and maybe it’s just because I’m so busy. (In my “glory days,” I did not have children with schedules and commitments layered upon my work responsibilities.)
Finding Hope at Work
My role as Manager of New Business Development at Demco (Evanced’s parent company) is to identify new and innovative product and service solutions that help libraries demonstrate relevance in new ways. A recent area of focus and exploration was adult programming, as it relates to the groundswell of the Baby Boomer population. Our research led us to the emerging field of brain training and fitness, and, more specifically, to BrainHQ™ from Posit Science and the research of Dr. Michael Merzenich, PhD.
I have learned that our brains have a natural plasticity that enables us to strengthen areas of weakness. I’ve also learned that our brains are at their highest level of functioning in our late 20s, after which a slow and steady decline occurs, showing signs in our late 40s and early 50s.
Brain health is much like physical health. Use those muscles or you’ll lose them. Fortunately for me, my work led me to find answers for my own personal need, but I’ve also discovered that I am not alone. A recent AARP research study found that nine out of every 10 people say brain health is important, but few know how to maintain or improve their brain health.
We think this is a great opportunity for libraries to step in.
Libraries are vital sources for information and resources, which is why I’m excited that Demco and Evanced will now be offering public libraries the ability to provide patrons with BrainHQ brain fitness software. Libraries subscribing to BrainHQ will be able to grant patrons access to a collection of more than 25 exercises with over 800 levels of training.
According to 2010 Census data, there are 81.4 million people ages 45 to 64—that translates to a lot of people forgetting names or where they left their keys! I have found solace in learning that the changes in my brain’s functioning are natural and that I can have some control over my brain health. Using the exercises in BrainHQ, I do not have to idly sit by and accept the lapses in function. Turns out, your library patrons might not have to either.
Click here to learn more about providing BrainHQ through your library. And, to get a personal assessment of your brain’s fitness and try the exercises yourself, simply contact us for a free BrainHQ trial account.