IMEP is an ongoing sustained intervention. Participants who are functioning independently are welcome to remain in the class for an unlimited amount of time.
IMEP activities and exercises work best in a class size of 10 to 12 participants. This allows for group interaction, individualized attention from facilitators, and an opportunity for participants to connect socially & form meaningful relationships.
An IMEP classroom has two facilitators working together. While one facilitator is leading the class, the other facilitator helps out by writing on the board, assisting participants, making any necessary phone calls, or attending to other tasks that require attention.
Trained volunteers help make IMEP run more smoothly, by providing assistance with beverages, snacks and lunch.
Numerous significant landmark studies from highly regarded institutions substantiate not just the effectiveness of memory enhancement programs, but the crucial need for them. Five major studies are listed below in chronological order.
- Mayo Clinic Study – 2009 – People who engaged in mentally challenging activities in their 50’s and 60’s were 40% less likely to suffer memory problems.
- Rush University – 2010 – People who engage in complex tasks have improved cognition and lower risk of dementia.
- Time Online – 2011 – Friends With Benefits: Being Highly Social Cuts Dementia Risk by 70%.
- UCLA Longevity Center – 2012 – People with a high amount of cognitive reserve can compensate for the brain damage caused by disease and old age, being less likely to manifest symptoms of dementia.
- Johns Hopkins – 2013 – Performing basic reading and math tasks maintains and improves cognitive function in healthy seniors and in those with dementia.
- ACTIVE study – 2014 – Brain training helped older adults stay sharp for 10 years after training program was completed.
IMEP is unique in that it focuses on addressing the mind/body connection of each individual. This approach is based on the principle that the mind and emotions affect physical health and vice versa.
IMEP includes supportive modalities that nourish and sustain the brain and body, such as aromatherapy, brain integration exercises, diaphragmatic breathing, mental agility exercises, guided relaxation, and more.
There are currently many computer-based memory enhancement programs that are fun, challenging, and beneficial, however they do not provide the social support, interaction, and individualized attention that an IMEP classroom session provides.
The well-documented brain benefits of socialization indicating a marked decrease in dementia risk for social seniors substantiates the importance of the social interaction and support of the group dynamic.1
1 Szalavitz, Maia. 02 May 2011. Friends With Benefits: Being Highly Social Cuts Dementia Risk by 70%. Time Online. <http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/02/friends-with-benefits-being-highly-social-cuts-dementia-risk-by-70/>.