A couple of weeks ago, Jerry Emmons shared his story with Posit Science. It seems that the 84-year-old was spending much of each day re-living old, painful World War II memories. He had been the only survivor in his crew and the horror was haunting him more and more. “Post-traumatic stress disorder,” said his doctor. And it was getting worse.
PTSD was just one of Jerry’s cognitive challenges. He was losing control: getting lost while driving and walking, feeling afraid of going out, having difficulty remembering everyday things that were crucial to his welfare, and causing his wife Marline no end of worry. Ultimately, Marline saw no alternative to having Jerry take up residence in a senior community where he could live a less stressful life and get the help that he needed to more successfully manage his daily routines.
Jerry chose a senior community that had a Posit Science “Brain Fitness Center.” You should know that many people now move to senior communities specifically BECAUSE they provide these special neuroscience-based brain fitness training programs for their residents. However, in Jerry’s case, the worm has turned! The results of the program were life-changing for Jerry: he substantially recovered his memory and wayfinding and conversational skills and confidence — and he discovered to his surprise that those old wartime memories had become more manageable. In fact, he improved so much that Marline decided to take him back home. They’re building a new house together, and Jerry is more than excited.
So while a growing number of people JOIN senior communities because of the Brain Fitness and other brain health-related activities that can help them sustain their neurological vitality, Jerry picked up his Brain Fitness Program winnings and headed back home.