Background & Goal
Older adults frequently deal with anxiety linked to memory lapses. The prevalence of these memory complaints vary from 3% to as high as 59% with a conversion rate to dementia varying from 8 to 15%. 10 million U.S. Baby Boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease. The 2010 Genworth Impact of Long Term Caring survey found that 23% of the care needed was due to cognitive impairment.
SeniorWISE strives to improve the memory skills and performance, and change the negative beliefs about cognitive aging of older adults and, in doing so, reduce their stress levels.
SeniorWISE (Wisdom Is Simply Exploration) is focused on modifying risk factors and developing interventions to improve the everyday memory function of older adults. Participants learn to deal with anxiety linked to memory lapses via the use of attention-focusing, memory strategy training, repeated practice, relevant modeling by others like themselves, and realistic expectations about cognitive abilities with age. It is designed for various environments where older adults live, recreate and work and it emphasizes maintenance of the instrumental activities of daily living, e.g., reading a prescription label and dialing the pharmacy to order a refill. SeniorWISE was implemented in Cleveland, Ohio (1996-1998) with 175 older adults; Central Texas (2001-2011) with 420 older adults; and Arkansas (2007-2011) with 114 older adults.