Monday, June 18 , 2018, 11:58 am | Fair 65º


Friendship Center Offering Brain Fitness Series for All Ages

Friendship Center announces “Brain Fitness & Successful Aging,” a new six-part series for all higher-functioning adults (not only seniors) from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays, from Nov. 6 to Dec. 18.

Classes will be held at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito as part of the Friendship Center’s new and pro-active Healthy Aging program. Learn how to rewire and strengthen your brain while relieving stress and inviting more vibrance into your life. Limited attendance, so please pre-register!

Now the Friendship Center is offering neuroscientist-proven programs for those of us approaching and experiencing “middle age” as well as for our seniors. When sampling the Brain Fitness program, I felt as if I were on the edge of a vital and hip generation who refused to sit around passively while nature pondered taking a cruel course on our minds.

I’ll face it — and publicly so. I’ve never been good at remembering names. When I was younger, I believed I could make this deficit appear almost charming, but not anymore. Can we — in our 40s and beyond — actually improve our minds?

"Yes, absolutely!" says Kristen Kai Hoye, MSW, the creator of this six-week series. “We have the ability to create new synaptic pathways in our brains which allows us to retain old information and register new information more easily. In this series, participants will learn tools and tricks to train the brain to work more efficiently.”

Kai has been specially trained to teach this course by the world-renowned neurologist Dr. Kenneth Kosik.

Qi-Gong on the Beach

OK, so this may not lend itself to the name of a new cocktail, but this ancient practice promotes vitality and is a relaxing and energizing component of the Brain Fitness program. Sharing hearty laughs, feeling stress melt away, strengthening our minds and bodies — all while experientially learning what terms such as “neuroplasticity” and “neurogenesis” mean.

For Everybody and Every Brain

As executive director of Friendship Center for 28 years, Heidi Holly has conducted this expansion, now available to our community.

“Brain Fitness for Successful Aging is appropriate for the community at large who are interested in being energized and empowered to keep dementia at bay and their bodies and minds as healthy as possible," she says. "For those who may have mild cognitive impairment and seek a supportive yet stimulating and social setting, there is Connections, another pro-active program that we offer at both Friendship Center locations, in Montecito and in Goleta.”

Beautiful Minds, Too

Now in Santa Barbara, we can also be famous for our beautiful, fit minds in addition to our beach bodies (well, we try). The benefits can be life changing — especially if we start Brain Fitness while we’re still sharp. Fortunately, the series is extremely affordable at $150 (only $25 per two-hour session), especially given that the Friendship Center is now proving to be a leader in pro-active mental fitness and healthy aging.

For more information, please contact Kai at 805.969.0859 or [email protected], or click here.

— Toni Frohoff, Ph.D., is a community outreach specialist representing the Friendship Center.


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