AOS & Friends Care: What Can WE Do to Help?

Dedicated to Serving Direct Care Needs and Supporting Programs and Events for Those Affected by Dementia

Companion Robo Pet Program Something to Bark About

Joyce Gross, a resident at Pinehurst Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center, cuddles and talks softly with a pair of companion robo pets. Her smile is simply contagious and grows broader with each stroke of the cat and dog.

After reading an article about the use of companion robo pets in a skilled nursing facility with its residents who have dementia, John Barrett, of Pinehurst, wanted to make a program of this kind a reality here in Moore County for residents like Gross. Barrett had already witnessed the impact of making visits with his own therapy dog firsthand and how the visits left residents asking for more time with the dog.

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3 Ways to Increase Your Cognitive Reserve

by Karen D. Sullivan, PhD, ABPP

Cognitive reserve is an important multi-dimensional concept that is beneficial to understand for preserving the health of your brain for as long as possible. It provides the best chance for fighting back against normal brain aging and age-associated brain disorders, like dementia.

Cognitive reserve is an evidence-based idea proposed by Columbia University neuropsychologist Dr. Yaakov Stern in the mid 1990s. It was inspired by a series of autopsy studies that revealed advanced pathological symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles) in the brains of some subjects who did not show symptoms of the disease in real life. Researchers initially thought this was due to a type of physical brain reserve after realizing that the people had larger brains than their counterparts. This was based on the assumption that they had more brain cells to lose and could, therefore, tolerate more brain disease before they showed the effects in life.

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