Focusing on Brain Health

By Doug Leidig, Asbury President & CEO

An Ultramarathon for the Ages

A few weeks ago, one year after her first marathon, 71-year-old Cindy Lindsay of Asbury Bethany Village completed 36 miles in a 12-hour ultramarathon. That day, Cindy inspired countless people, most of them decades younger.

As a fitness proponent and sports fan, I love what Cindy did, and she inspires me.

And, as we recognize June as Alzheimer’s Awareness and Brain Health Month, I want to talk about the connections between aging well and brain health, or as we call it, Kinnections.

Aging Well and Brain Health at Asbury

As I walk around our communities, I see people with limited mobility, chronic health issues, and other challenges laughing with friends over lunch, sharing their skills with others through volunteering, creating new campus initiatives, and participating in all kinds of programs and classes. From my perspective as CEO of Asbury, these are equally inspiring.

I’ve seen firsthand that we don’t have to be able to run 36 miles or even three to live a fulfilling life as we age. We do need cognitive health.

Three years ago, Asbury was blessed to start on our path to a system-wide brain health program when Cynthia Rosborough of Asbury Methodist Village made a transformative gift to establish the Rosborough Brain Health Center for Excellence there. This month, our Kinnections Brain Health program rolls out at Normandie Ridge, bringing this pivotal well-being offering to all our continuing care retirement communities. Thanks to the expertise of our Senior Director of Well-being and Brain Health, Sue Paul, and the operational support of the Community Living President, Todd Andrews, our Well-being Directors, Executive Directors, and therapy teams, we now have a comprehensive, research-based program with assessments and customized follow-up, certified brain health coaches, and classes and lifestyle strategies built to support the brain’s seven domains.

a man using one of the brain health kinnections technology machines
An Asbury Methodist Village resident using Senso during a Kinnections brain health session.

We’ve partnered with Senso and SMARTfit® to offer technologies that focus on dual task training, which boost cognitive stimulation with exercises that require the brain and body to work simultaneously.

Brain health is a top priority for seniors; we know that many residents and families are coping with the challenges of Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive impairments. I’m proud that Asbury dedicates resources to programs like Kinnections, hosts Longest Day fundraisers, and shares our expertise through professional conferences and community support groups. We plan to do more to enhance our Kinnections brain health program, so stay tuned!