MemAerobics: a Cognitive Intervention to Improve Memory Ability and Reduce Depression in Older Adults
Numerous researchers have shown that older adults who participate in memory enhancement programs can improve their memory abilities. However, previous research has generally focused on "young-old" adults (i.e., under 75 years of age). We replicated these findings with an older assisted living facility population using a new program called MemAerobicsTM. This program could be used by other long-term care facilities to both improve and maintain residents' overall wellness. Volunteers participated in one of two experimental conditions: either a cognitive enhancement intervention specifically designed to stimulate cognitive activity (known as MemAerobics) or a control group that did not participate in any extra activities. Before the intervention, all participants completed a battery of standardized tests designed to measure memory ability, beliefs in the efficacy in their memory, life satisfaction, and depression. After three-months of MemAerobics exercises, all participants were reassessed with the same measures to determine the magnitude and direction of changes as a function of their intervention group. The results indicated that MemAerobics participants experienced an increase in memory ability as well as a decrease in depressive symptoms.
Journal of Mental Health and Aging
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Winningham, R. G., Anunsen, R., Hanson, L. M., Laux, L., Kaus, K. D., & Reifers, A. (2003). MemAerobics: A cognitive intervention to improve memory ability and reduce depression in older adults. Journal of Mental Health and Aging, 9(3), 183-192.
This is the authors' final accepted (peer-reviewed) manuscript. The final publication is copyrighted by Springer.