Brains & Balance — Classes to Keep Seniors Feeling Young

Sponsored - St. James Place, the popular Life Plan Community for seniors in Baton Rouge, is offering residents a unique program titled “Brains & Balance.” Created by staff member John Lopez, the Brains & Balance program is geared toward helping residents maintain an active lifestyle by promoting attention and concentration, short- and long-term memory as well as executive functioning.

The Brains & Balance classes use a combination of games and exercises designed to keep seniors’ minds and bodies active and healthy, not to mention upright. “The biggest physical issues you see with older adults,” Lopez says, “are either fear of falling or fear of losing their cognitive abilities.” His program is designed to help seniors avoid both.

Lopez also uses humor to help keep the residents’ minds attuned, using what he calls his “bad joke du jour” to help focus their attention while keeping them amused and relaxed. Deep breathing exercises are also an intrinsic part of the program. According to Lopez, “Research shows that when people are in a good mood and enjoying themselves, it promotes learning.” Lopez’s research has also shown that diaphragmatic breathing is an excellent tool for clearing the mind, allowing people to focus and concentrate on their mental and physical well-being.

The Brains & Balance program was inspired when Lopez’s mother was moved to a long-term care facility. He recognized the need for something the facility didn’t provide for patients. Lopez began developing a program he felt would truly help seniors maintain physical and mental health much longer than other programs in use. The program also fits in perfectly with St. James Place’s holistic approach to wellness that’s meant to nurture the mind, body and spirit of the community’s residents.

Lopez sees the development of the Brains & Balance program as an organic process, always changing and growing. He has also created a website, CogworxABC, where he generously shares his work and findings with others. “Doing this work is my passion,” he says. “I’m proud to have created something that can truly benefit seniors.”

If you’d like to see why so many seniors seeking an active retirement move to St. James Place, click this link or call (225) 215-4510 to arrange a personal tour.