University pairs with retirement chain to help seniors' memories

A good memory is out of reach for many people, and it can become increasingly difficult for older people, even those with healthy minds, to recall names and telephone numbers of people they meet.

To help provide seniors with the tools to boost their memories, a university is pairing with an Iowa assisted living chain to offer training sessions to older people.

As reported in The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier newspaper, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and Western Home Communities hope that their joint MINDS (Memory, Intellect, Nutrition, Detection and Stamina) program will help many seniors prevent early-onstage dementia.

“Prevention is getting to be so important… this is one of those areas that can be addressed,” professor Theresa Kouri of the UNI told the newspaper.

The initiative began as a six-week program with the original goal of having UNI give back to its local community, but it has morphed into an opportunity of mutual benefit for the university’s students and Western Home Communities’ residents, who are paired together.

Professor Kouri told the newspaper that her expertise in cognition and language has taught her that older people need to work at maintaining their mental and verbal skills to help ward off dementia.