The Center for Cognitive Fitness & Innovative Therapies offers clients and their families a broad range of services to maintain lifelong cognitive health. Following a comprehensive evaluation, the center personalizes your own therapeutic program. If desired, CFIT can integrate you into the center’s research program. With the help of your personal care coordinator, CFIT’s programs are designed to put you in control.
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Upon entering the program, appropriate and qualified CFIT staff will perform a medical assessment to determine your overall health and risk factors. These evaluations include a medical intake interview, a neuropsychological evaluation, and a physical assessment. From these evaluations, the CFIT medical staff will create a program designed specifically to address your cognitive needs. In addition, individual Team Meetings with you and your family/caregivers are scheduled at the beginning, six month, and end of the membership year to assess your progress and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and to make comments or suggestions. Click here to see examples of the different evaluation packages we offer.
Diet & Supplement Review
In the initial intake and evaluation a variety of questions will be posed to understand your eating habits. During this process, questions will be asked as to the number and frequency of all medications and supplements you consume on a regular basis and will be recorded in your CFIT electronic medical record for review by the medical doctor, neurologist and assisting staff. We also have nutrition and diet assessment programs available with our Nutritionist (see below)
Social Services Evaluation
CFIT’s Social Services support you and your family by providing you with an ongoing contact person within CFIT – the Social Counselor - whose primary focus is to attend to your emotional and mental needs, especially important to family caregivers. Carrie Grabenauer, CFIT’s Care Coordinator, provides an initial assessment of these needs, and refers you and/or family to the appropriate Social Counselor. This team member will:
- Provide a beginning plan of action for your family at home and in the community to maintain as high a quality of life as possible for both you and your family members.
- Have follow-up meetings during your CFIT program to:
- Maintain emotional support
- To address issues which call for dementia education i.e. communication, safety measures, challenging behaviors
- To provide consultation or mediation between family members if needed
- To provide information on outside resources as needed
Spiritual Counseling Evaluation
CFIT’s Spiritual Counseling supports you and your family through difficult times. The Spiritual Counselor, Rev. Bets Wienecke, is available to discuss end of life concerns as well as ways to manage with life in the present. Carrie Grabenauer, CFIT’s Care Coordinator, provides an initial assessment of these needs and refers the client/family to the Spiritual Counselor when the need arises. We also listen closely and really get to know you, so that as changes happen in your life, we are able to respond quickly to your changing needs.
We understand one of the natural concerns to arise from developing cognitive impairment is having your driver’s license taken away. Our Care Coordinator will provide information on how you can improve your driving skills and will also refer you to the appropriate sources that can help you maintain your independence on the road.
If you are physically or mentally unable to drive and need transportation services, we suggest applying for Easy Lift as a way to get here. Easy Lift is a non-profit curbside-to-curbside transportation service for senior citizens and people with disabilities in South Santa Barbara County.
Social Network Evaluation
Remaining socially engaged with your peers and family is important to maintaining your cognitive health. Studies have shown great benefits between interacting socially with others and maintaining a healthy brain. CFIT believes in the importance of establishing social networks between their clients and offers programs that encourage this.
CFIT can help you set up an architectural consultation with OnDesign Architects who has both designed and built care giving facilities. Their professional education and experience allow them to integrate specific requirements into new or existing spaces. They address the special sensory needs and degenerative effects of dementia and those with cognitive decline within the built environment. CFIT can help you contact them for a design audit to see how your care setting could be improved for individuals with dementia and other forms of cognitive disease.
A-la-Carte services are available to everyone, not exclusive to CFIT clients.
A critical component to the CFIT program is ensuring you are getting a nominal amount of physical exercise. We will provide a trained therapist to evaluate and assess your physical needs and limitations. You will have access to a comfortable incumbent bike called the NuStep, as well as the Wii Fit console and a variety of floor exercises, such as balance and stretching. As a client, you will have one-on-one and group appointments with our trained therapists to work on physical objectives such as: balance and equilibrium, hand-eye coordination, upper and lower body strengthening, coordination, and flexibility. The therapist will also dedicate time to providing positive reinforcement and guidance for doing such activities at home.
CFIT has two Nutritionists, who provide a variety of different services that focus on different aspects of nutrition, diet, eating habits, weight loss and hormones.
Diet and Nutrition:
CFIT has a Registered Nutritionist, Betsy Markle on-staff to provide you with a dietary assessment and to help you map out a personalized nutrition program that fits your needs and goals.
Nutrition and Hormone Therapy:
We also have a Nutrition and Hormone Therapist, who helps assess and treat hormone and brain-chemistry imbalances that may stem from feeling anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, or emotionally bankrupt.
CFIT has a certified massage therapist, Jeanette Gardner LMT, on-staff who offers a variety of massage therapy services to fit your needs. Set in a meditative and calming environment, her services help alleviate stress and tension from the body, or work on preventing chronic pain from injuries you may have acquired over the years.
Aquatic Wellness and Exercise
CFIT provides several different ways for you to meet your personal fitness goals. One option is through our Aquatic Wellness and Exercise Program. Through Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, CFIT provides our clients’ access to the Tuohy Foundation Aquatic Center, located right next door, which features an outdoor, warm water environment that is excellent for therapy and physical conditioning. Aquatic Wellness Programs include: personal training, independent exercise and swimming, aerobic conditioning class, Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program, and Aquatic Volunteer “Buddy” Program.
CFIT offers group Tai Chi classes, an ancient Chinese art that uses gentle flowing movements to reduce stress and connect the mind and body. Our Tai Chi instructor, Myron Dang, OTR/L, incorporates slow repetitive movements and a self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. This is designed to help with stress reduction, improve and maintain range of motion of joints, maintain muscle mass, improve blood and oxygen circulation through meridian lines, increase and maintain flexibility, carry energy throughout the body, and practice focusing on being “in the moment.”
A cornerstone of CFIT’s program is cognitive exercise. We offer a variety of different ways for our clients to actively engage their brains through:
- Computer-based cognitive exercises using the brain fitness program CogniFit, which assesses your individual strengths and weaknesses, creates a personalized program, and provides feedback on which areas you can improve your cognition. Cognifit has such games as: Match the Time, Attention Alert, Word Quest, Name Me, Pattern Memory, Jigsaw 9, and Mix and Match.
- Interactive cognitive challenges whether through our collection of fun board games which actively engage your brain such as backgammon, Chess, ConnectFour, Uno, Scrabble, Blockus, Boggle, and Sequence or through our Wii Fit console which offers games such as tennis, bowling, fishing, yoga, and balance tasks. These activities not only provide a mind enriching environment, but also an opportunity to socialize with other fellow CFIT clients.
- Individualized activities that work on specific objectives such as: spatial perception, visual scanning, visual perception, planning, awareness, divided attention, short term memory, shifting, recalling, naming, problem solving, and deductive reasoning.
Neurologic Music Therapy is the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor dysfunction due to neurological impairment of the human nervous system. CFIT offers group sessions where our board certified Music Therapist, Carolyn Dobson, MT-BC, NMT, uses different neurologic music therapy techniques to work on objectives such as: balance, sequencing, visual tracking, cognitive attention control training, cognitive executive functioning training, auditory information processing, rhythmical attention, and memory. Plus, her class is always full because it is so enjoyable!
Testing for genetic risk factors gives you a comprehensive view of your health so that you can start taking early preventative measures and make more informed choices regarding diagnosis and treatment. Knowledge is power. By finding out which health conditions you have an increased genetic risk for, CFIT strives to empower you with this knowledge so that you can take control of your future health. CFIT provides this service through the genetic testing laboratory, Navigenics. In 3 easy steps our GeneFit program provides:
- Pre-Genetic Counseling: Dr. Kosik will spend your first session with you talking about the impact of knowing your genetic information and how it relates to other family members, so that you may fully understand the impact this information may have on you and your family.
- Testing: We will collect a quick saliva sample from you, send in your sample, and then Dr. Kosik will receive your information and analyze it.
- Genetic Counseling: Dr. Kosik will sit down and walk you through your results. Together, you will map out a plan to reduce the risks identified from your test and take that next step toward optimal health.
We understand that this can be a very stressful and confusing time for you and your family members. That is why CFIT offers programs to help attend to your emotional and personal needs as well as your medical needs.
One of our Social Counselors will sit down with you to help you identify some future goals, and in what ways you can maintain as high a quality of life as possible for both you and your family, at home and out in the community.
Our Spiritual Counselor, Rev. Bets Wienecke, is available to discuss each client’s own personal spiritual journey and how spirituality does/doesn’t play a role in their life. She is also available to talk about end of life concerns, advanced directives, as well as ways to manage with life in the present.
CFIT strongly believes in the importance of remaining socially active as you age. Having a strong support group and engaging in conversation and activities with others is shown to help maintain a healthy brain. CFIT can help you. CFIT currently has a grant under way, in partnership with UCSB and the Alzheimer’s Association, which is working on setting up a social networking site. Stay tuned for future updates!
Healing Garden Architecture Services
A properly designed therapeutic garden has been shown to greatly benefit the physical, social, psychological and spiritual health of people dealing with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of cognitive decline. CFIT works with landscape architect John Baran, and his company, Toyon Studio LLC to help our clients create their own healing garden. Additional Information.
CFIT strives to help you preserve your memories in a meaningful and heartfelt way. In partnership with LifeChronicles, we will help you record a video sharing your life story, experiences, and personal thoughts that you, your family and loved ones can enjoy. Additional Information.
CFIT’s philosophy includes empowering our clients by encouraging you to take charge of your own health information and to have access to the most current resources and devices that will help you maintain a healthy brain for life. Here at CFIT, we have a knowledgeable and friendly staff that will walk you through setting up that latest gadget, help you find a new brain game or research novel technology that could aid you in a variety of ways. Our TechFit Program is designed to get you using what is at your finger tips more effectively than ever before!
Our MediFit Program will help each client set up your own electronic medical record using an online service called Google Health, which you can access from any computer from anywhere. The program also includes a slim credit-card shaped CFIT USB Card, which carries an up-to-date and password protected, digital copy of your most recent medical records. Now you have easy access to your medical records and have become an active member of your health care team.
GadgetFit offers you information on the latest technological devices proven to help with memory. In doing so, CFIT aims to provide you with the tools to independently improve your cognitive abilities. Technology is increasingly playing a role in the realm of brain fitness, exploring new ways to preserve cognitive sharpness as you age, and highlighting the health benefits of doing so. Research studies show that engaging in intellectually stimulating activities lead to better health outcomes and lower long term healthcare costs. We aim to help you keep up with the latest technological developments and navigate the vast amount of research and resources available.
Aetrex Ambulator ® GPS Shoe: A shoe with a miniaturized GPS chip and cellular device embedded in it, which continuously tracks the location and movement history of its wearer, relaying the information to a monitoring center through cellular networks. The simplicity behind the GPS Shoe is that when a senior with Alzheimer’s wanders off more than a pre-set distance, their caregiver will immediately receive a geo-fence alert on their smartphone and computer, with a direct link to a Google map plotting the wanderer’s location. The GPS Shoe is scheduled to be released for retail sale this fall.
SenseCam: A specialized small digital camera currently in development by Microsoft Research, which is worn around the neck and automatically takes a wide-angle, low-resolution photograph every 30 seconds, which can then be downloaded onto a computer. Through building an electronic memory (“lifelogging”), this product enables you to recall memories through the use of images, possibly helping lead to long-term memory retention. CFIT will keep you up-to-date with the most recent developments and news! Recent Press Release.
SuperMemo: A software program created to help with memory retention by collecting learning material of your choice, testing your knowledge on that material and collecting information about your memory, and then based on that information, reviewing that material through repetition.
Wii Fit: An exercise game played on a balance board that allows you to customize and personalize your own workout. Combining fun and fitness, it includes a multiplayer option and activities that work on balance, performing body tests, and 6 different training modes. You can simplify exercising with one small board, and engage in physical activity with family and friends.
Live Teleconferencing with Remote Family Members
We understand how important it is to have a strong support system as you go through this change in your life. CFIT strives to involve your loved ones through each step of this program by providing complimentary teleconferencing, so that family members who live far away can also be a part of this process.
Computer & Technology Skills
Through technology you are able to access vast resources in relation to your health, but how can you take advantage of these resources if you do not know how to use them? Through our TechFit program, we will teach you the necessary computer skills so that you can navigate the internet, and show you how to use different technological devices.
Research & Information Science
As a CFIT client you will have access to the following:
An Information-rich Environment, Medical Databases, Guided Web Browsing, Compassionate Use & Drug Trials Program, Science Soirees, Public Lectures.
- CFIT has collaborative relationships with the following:
Neuroscience Research Institute at University of California, Santa Barbara
Center for Successful Aging