The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


May 6, 2008

Mental fitness

I was representing The Lutheran at a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the ELCA Board of Pensions this past weekend.

I was seated at a table with a staff member of the Board of Pensions, and we got to know each other during breaks in the agenda.

She told me about the piano lessons she'd begun. "My anti-alzheimer's exercise," she called them.

This morning I read an article about the [m]Power Brain Fitness System being used by seniors at Pocono Lutheran Village, a Diakon senior living facility in East Stroudsburg, Penn.

According to the article in the Pocono Record, residents use touch-screen computers to do puzzles, math problems, word games and geography quizzes.

"I'm hooked. I have played it every day. It encourages you," said one 86-year-old resident in the article. Another 93-year-old said "I can't wait for 7 a.m. for it to start."

I wonder whether my 87-year-old grandmother would use such a tool if it were offered in her assisted-living facility. She regularly goes to exercise classes, weekly worship, listens to polka music and plays bingo. But her deteriorating eyesight makes reading difficult.

So here's my question for you, whether you're young or old.

What do you do to stay sharp?

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