Inspīr and Brain Health

BY: 

INSPĪR SENIOR LIVING TEAM

We believe that what is good for the brain is also good for the mind, body, and soul. It’s a constant cycle. And, these days, brain health is relevant to people of all ages. Research on the topic of brain health is still evolving. But the evidence is strong that making key lifestyle changes, including participating in regular physical activity, staying socially engaged, and maintaining good heart health, can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. 

For our residents, brain health is essential, whether it involves memory, concentration, or learning. Brain health has a direct influence on whole-person wellness, which is why we offer lifelong learning classes, cognitively stimulating activities, brain-healthy foods, and fitness classes to keep the neurons active and maximize brain function.

The brain is an amazing organ that runs everything in the body. For your body to perform at its optimal ability, the brain needs to be protected, nourished, stimulated, and treated with the best care possible. Through our integrated care, experiences, dining, and wellness, we offer each of our residents at Inspīr Carnegie Hill ways to improve their brain health daily.

Engagement/Connectivity 

As soon as seniors move into our residence, we present them with greater opportunities for social connection, engagement, and interaction with others. This has become an increasingly important factor for seniors, including many of our residents who spent the recent COVID-19 pandemic isolated or cut off from family and friends and often alone. The sense of community and vibrant lifestyle offered at Inspīr Carnegie Hill immediately begins to have a positive effect on residents. We work with our engagement partners to encourage residents to have fun and laugh together through our many integrative programs. The Actors Fund integrates entertainment through dance, music, storytelling, and acting to get residents’ brains and bodies moving. Another one of our program partners, Laughter On Call, keeps engagement high and smiles wide for our residents through a variety of engagement and laughter programming, including improv classes and stand-up performances.

Cognitive Stimulation

New experiences are crucial to our growth as individuals. That’s why they’re intrinsic to life at Inspīr Carnegie Hill. We bring in fresh programs and perspectives from a variety of engagement partners to support not only brain health but the whole self. Through our collaboration with the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, our residents can take advantage of diverse programming, events, and classes offered through The Wechsler Center for Modern Aging. The Jewish Museum works with us to customize gallery programs and hands-on art-making workshops (when allowed). Oceana residents will have the opportunity to participate in JM Journeys, their signature dementia program, and all residents are given a complimentary membership to the museum.

Nutrition and Brain Health

Our unique Integrated Care Model (ICM), a team-based, interdisciplinary approach to whole-person health and wellness, powers all of our care programs at Inspīr Carnegie Hill. At the core of the ICM is the Interdisciplinary Care Team. This team, which includes members of our staff as well as highly vetted outside provider partners, collaborates to achieve optimal health and wellness outcomes for each resident. As a basic element for life, food fuels everything your body needs to do both physically and cognitively, so understandably, the nutrition of our residents is a priority. At Inspīr, we take it beyond basic because we know that changing and monitoring what you eat can improve brain health and is transformative, even healing. By eating a Mediterranean-based diet, or Blue Zone diet, which is primarily plant-based, it is possible to change your mood and mental sharpness and improve heart health and cancer risk.

Our culinary team, led by Chef Giovanni Maffei, delivers dishes made from locally sourced, nutrient-filled food for whole-person health and wellness. Chef and his team provide flavorful superfoods like leafy green vegetables, fresh fish, and whole grains plated to delight the eye and the palate. From his breakfast matcha smoothie bowl to a beet tartare, or salmon roulade topped off by a deconstructed banana split, our residents can feast with their eyes along with their stomachs.

Movement and Wellness

Our bodies are designed to move. And as we age, they need to continue moving. That is why we offer daily programs that keep our residents in motion naturally and purposefully. We empower our residents to stay mobile in both the building and the city. It is natural as we age to slow down physically, but at Inspīr, we work to help residents remain active or regain flexibility and mobility they may have lost. We do this by working with our on-site partners to offer both exercise and wellness programming along with physical therapy. Namaste Wellness curates individual wellness experiences that include group classes, workshops, and individual sessions to promote health, well-being, and vitality for residents at Inspīr Carnegie Hill. Their offerings are designed specifically for older adults and are built on a four-pillar philosophy that includes movement, stillness, touch, and nourishment. Examples include modified yoga, assisted stretch, mindfulness meditation, Reiki, and nutrition coaching. These modalities are proven to increase mobility, flexibility, and strength and decrease chronic pain, inflammation, and stress.

To help residents regain strength and mobility or maintain it, we work with SPEAR Physical Therapy, which has won top Physical Therapy Practice in the nation twice, most recently in 2020. Dedicated SPEAR therapists help residents reach their fitness and wellness goals by providing expert physical and occupational therapy on-site. The team at Iowa Sports manages our pool and fitness center. Technogym has outfitted the gym with top-of-the-line equipment, and the saltwater pool provides ample space for aquatic classes and therapeutic exercise.

As people live longer lives than in previous decades, a heightened emphasis has been placed on brain health and its impact on overall wellness and longevity. At Inspīr, brain health is always top of mind.