Improving Brain Health in Alexandria

Goodwin House hosts Stronger Memory program.

Goodwin House resident Dr. Robert Wallace, Ahn Phan of the office of Senator Mark Warner, and Goodwin House Inc. CEO Rob Leibreich following the Stronger Memory presentation on Sept. 17.

 

Goodwin House was the site of a Stronger Memory presentation Sept. 17 as part of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and its brain health programs.

Goodwin House Inc. has partnered with George Mason University to study the impact of the Stronger Memory program on memory, cognition and life satisfaction of participants.

“We are partnered with Mason to research the effectiveness of the Stronger Memory program,” said Jessica Frederickson, the Brain Health program manager for Goodwin House Inc. “I’ve seen it change lives and improve the cognitive memory of patients.”

Sen. Mark Warner made a virtual appearance at the event in support of the Stronger Memory program.

“I want to say a special thank you to all my friends at Goodwin House and their involvement in their Stronger Memory program,” Warner said in a prerecorded video. “We all know someone who has to deal with either dementia or Alzheimer’s. My mom had Alzheimer’s 11 years, so anything we can do to improve cognitive facilities as we age is something I strongly support.”

The Stronger Memory program consists of three basic activities: writing, reading aloud and simple math exercises. The program was started in 2011 by Goodwin House CEO Rob Liebreich, a featured speaker at the event, to help his mother address cognitive decline. Since that time, Stronger Memory has gained a loyal following and yielded positive results.

“I entered the program skeptically but thought I would try it and so far I am impressed,” said Dr. Robert Wallace, a Goodwin House resident and former chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic and Georgetown University School of Medicine. “It is difficult to objectively determine if you have improved but subjectively I think it is working and I am going to stick with it.”

Residents of all three Goodwin House affiliates — Goodwin House Alexandria, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads and Goodwin House At Home — in addition to members of the Village to Village Network, local nonprofit organizations, local faith organizations, and friends and family members have participated in Stronger Memory since its initial pilot in the fall of 2020.

“I never felt that I had a strong memory,” Wallace said. “So when the program became available here, I thought that it would be worth trying. It definitely has its merits.””

Stronger Memory is available at no cost and the entire curriculum can be downloaded on Goodwin House’s website at https://www.goodwinhouse.org/stronger-memory/. 

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