There is a common phrase that most people have heard and repeated many times, You cant teach an old dog new tricks. With the research of today, we now know that this is simply not entirely true. Old dogs can learn new tricks! Your brain has a remarkable way of mastering new skills, whatever your age. Newer research has shown that the brain never stops changing in response to learning.You may or may not have heard the buzz regarding brain neuroplasticity that has been growing in the last decade. So, what is it? Why is it important? What can you do in order to improve your own neuroplasticity?Neuroplasticity is a broad umbrella term that refers to the brains ability to change and adapt due to experiences. Neuroplasticity allows nerve cells to be malleable, change, or adjust. However, the brain is not infinitely malleable. Damage in critical areas of the brain such as movement, speech and cognition can result in deficits in those areas. While some recovery may be possible, it is simply not possible for another area of the brain to take over those functions. Benefits of neuroplasticity include, but are not limited to:- The ability to learn new things- The ability to enhance existing cognitive capabilities- Recovery from strokes and traumatic brain injuries- Strengthening areas where function is lost or has declined- Improvements that can boost brain fitness and enhance memory abilitiesWhat can you do to help enhance neuroplasticity? Check with your local Senior Center to see what classes are offered that can encourage your brain to adapt and change.- Travel and explore new places to expose your brain to new environments and open up new pathways in the brain.- Create art. Be creative and engage in oil painting, watercolors, acrylics, sewing, gemstone faceting, and more!- Physical activity and Dancing.o Find an exercise class that suits your current activity level. Check your local Senior Center for offerings like Silver Sneakers classes, Zumba, Swimming, Yoga, Pilates, Taijifit, Flyswatter Volleyball and more!o Get up and dance! There is a variety of dance classes suitable to all!o Try a sport that challenges hand eye coordination like ping-pong, pickle ball, racquetball, or even juggling. For an extra challenge to strengthen the connectivity between neurons, use your non-dominant hand to play!- Get adequate sleep.- Learn how to play an instrument.- Learn a new language.- Reading Fiction. This can increase connectivity in the brain as well as expand vocabulary, which activates the visual, auditory, and memory processes.- Intermittent fasting. Research has shown an increase in synaptic adaption, promotion of neuron growth, improvement with overall cognitive function, and the decreased risk of neurodegenerative disease. Always consult with your physician to see if intermittent fasting is appropriate for you. About the author:Sara Tucker, MA, CTRS is the Director of Senior Programs at the Colorado Springs Senior Center. Sara has degrees in Therapeutic Recreation and Recreation Administration. Prior to joining the Senior Center, Sara was a clinical Recreation Therapist specializing in neurological rehabilitation. If you have any questions, please call Sara at 719-955-3400.
An Intensive Care Unit [ICU] stabilizes patients; however, the next step is just as critical to recovery. Individuals with medically complex conditions may be ready to leave the ICU, but still require advanced monitoring, rehabilitation and time to heal. Thats where Select Specialty Hospital Camp Hill can help.Select Specialty Hospital Camp Hill is a critical illness recovery hospital. Licensed as a long-term acute care hospital (LTAC), it specializes in the medical and rehabilitative care of patients who need more time to heal from infectious diseases, surgical complications, and orthopedic, wound or post-trauma care. Many patients may also require ongoing treatment for pulmonary conditions, neurological disorders, cardiac conditions or renal disorders.Why Select Specialty Hospital?Select Specialty Hospital Camp Hill is located on the fifth floor of Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital. Its a hospital within a hospital that makes it easy for patients to continue receiving advanced services -- ventilator weaning, cardiac monitoring and dialysis -- without having to move to a different location. It also means the doctors and specialists who have cared for a patient since admission may continue to be actively involved in their care.Select Specialty Hospital Camp Hill, along with our locations in Harrisburg and York, provide care that includes daily physician visits, as well as 24-hour nursing and respiratory care. If required, physical, occupational and speech therapies are also provided. Additionally, all of our Central Pennsylvania hospitals have access to diagnostic radiology and laboratory services, an on-site pharmacy, nutritional care, dialysis and innovative speaking devices for those on ventilators. The medical staff and patients are also supported by case managers, clinical liaisons and admission coordinators. To learn more, or to take a virtual tour of Select Specialty Hospital Camp Hill, please visit camphill.selectspecialtyhospitals.com.From the moment a patient arrives at a Select Specialty Hospital, he or she receives compassionate, patient-centered care that focuses on helping that individual meet his or her specific recovery goals.
Did you know that Pennsylvania has the fifth largest older adult population in the nation with 3.4 million individuals?1 As the population continues to age, more people are weighing their options when it comes to downsizing, moving into a senior living community, or choosing to age in the comfort of their homes. According to a 2021 Home and Community Preferences survey by AARP of 2,826 U.S. adults, about 75% of people over the age of 50 expressed that they would like to remain in their current houses and communitiesmeaning aging in place is becoming a more prevalent life choice among older adults.2What to Know About Aging in PlaceIf youre leaning toward spending your years in the place where you feel the most content and safe, then you need to be willing to make some modifications to your home. As you age, your needs change, which means certain features in your home may need to be adjusted. Wider doorways and walkways; accessible bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms; ramps and lifts; non-slip floors; and stability aids like grab bars and handrails are some of the most common enhancements that come to mind, but assistive technology can play an important role in aging in place too.Many people choose to age in place because they want to maintain their independence, and assistive technology helps make that possible. From smart home devices that allow you to control the temperature or lights with voice commands to amplified phones and doorbells, there are plenty of high-tech tools that can help you navigate your day-to-day with ease. If youre a senior with hearing loss, Captioned Telephone Relay Service is a free service that allows you to read captions of whats said to you during phone conversations using a uniquely designed CapTel phone.CapTel Makes Phone Conversations Clearer Using CapTel, you can confidently and securely age in place knowing that you can effectively communicate over the phone. Whether youre calling loved ones to catch up, chatting with your doctor, or contacting first responders in an emergency, CapTel is a dependable communication solution for older adults who have hearing loss.Best of all, the CapTel captioning service is free and available in English and Spanish, with captions appearing on the bright, built-in display screen of the CapTel phone just moments after the other caller has spoken. CapTel phones can be purchased directly for $75 through a third-party vendor, or qualified Pennsylvania residents can apply for a CapTel device through the states Telecommunications Device Distribution Program (TDDP)which provides specialized equipment to individuals who find it difficult to use a standard phone. Age in Place Confidently with CapTelTo learn more about CapTel, including how to purchase or apply for an assistive communication device, visit pactrs.com today!Sources:1Master Plan for Older Adults, Pennsylvania Department of Aging 22021 Home and Community Preferences Survey: A National Survey of Adults Age 18-Plus | Joannne Binette & Fanni Farago, AARP Research CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.