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.