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Article featured in WebMD about how Together is helping people with Alzheimer's and dementia featuring Deborah Barnes, Cynthia Benjamin, and Heather M. Snyder.
Together Senior Health’s program improves cognitive health through an array of approaches, including movement, mindfulness, body awareness, music, social connection and community, and sense of purpose, according to Cynthia Benjamin, CEO of Together Senior Health.
Benjamin describes the program as a “holistic approach” because it applies neuroscience, treatment without drugs, and psychology “to strengthen cognitive health” and because it addresses so many areas of life.
In people living with Alzheimer’s, parts of the brain are hampered, but other parts continue to work well, says Deborah Barnes, PhD, chief science adviser of Together Senior Health. People with Alzheimer’s and other dementias continue to be able to “experience joy, happiness, and connect in meaningful ways with others.”
Something else that continues to be “preserved well” in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia is the “muscle memory part of the brain – meaning that people can maintain movements to support daily function if those movements are repeated, because the brain learns through repetition,” Barnes says.
The group setting of Moving Together fosters the sense of social connection, and the movements support daily function. The program also offers mindful body awareness, which “helps bring people more into awareness of the body in the present moment, which can be calming in people with dementia. This is an integrative program that combines all these elements into a neat package,” Barnes says.