Brainy Days

 

It's not Kansas, but it feels like home to Betty.

 

Tucked away beside Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital's pool on De la Vina Street, Cottage Center for Brain Fitness provides a decidedly peaceful environment for exercising the brain. The Center takes all the best parts about a soothing spa, a comfy family room and a media entertainment center and combines them to make getting 'brain fit' fun.

 

And she discovered a wealth of tools to help with every aspect of her daily life.

 

The CCBF team consulted with Betty and designed a package for her particular needs. She went to a half-time program for eight weeks. Betty learned skills to sharpen both her mental and physical health. Her activities included yoga, balance, massage, computer games and Memory Matinee events.

Betty Dickman

 

A veteran of newspaper, radio, television and advertising, Betty Dickman took an adventurous road from Kansas to California as she discovered her talent for the investment field and later authored a quirky investment advice book. Leading what she describes as "a magical life," Betty is quick with a laugh and a good story about her days working on Bing Crosby's radio shows. She meticulously polishes her shoes and loves to use her computer for writing. At 88 years old, her brain seems plenty sharp.

 

But Betty says that she'd gotten lazy. She wasn't challenging herself. She was forgetting things. She'd read a paragraph of the morning paper and not retain what she'd just read.

 

 

About Cottage Center
For Brain Fitness

Effective Monday, April 29, 2013, Cottage Center for Brain Fitness will no longer accept clients or offer services.

 

The entire staff and administration of Cottage Center for Brain Fitness would like to extend our deepest gratitude for those who participated in our program.

 

 

That was the wake-up call. Her brain needed help. Around that time, she saw a newspaper ad for Cottage Center for Brain Fitness. That she retained. She signed up for a tour.

 

"I needed motivation to do things that were good for me," says Betty. "Boy, was this it." With a team of specialists to support her, Betty began her work to sharpen her brain.

 

"I'm so pleased. I just can't say enough about the team... their expertise, their kindness, and their determination to help. I feel so much better now. They have made my work in the program a memorable adventure," remarks Betty. When Betty first arrived at the Center she relied on a cane. After doing balance work with the team's therapists, she noticed a pronounced improvement in her movement as she learned to concentrate on graceful-not jerky-motions. She moves more easily and walks better now. And she's learned tips to maneuver safely and prevent falling.

 

"Rochelle worked with me on finding perfect balance on stairs. I'm more confident now that I can do it on my own," Betty says, and proudly notes that she no longer uses that cane. The results were that profound.

 

"I'm 88 years old and I realize that, with your brain just like everything else, it's easy to get lazy. You slip into a routine and find yourself not making your brain work. But if you challenge it with new things, it has to work. When I'm at the Center learning the computer games- something that's all new to me-my brain has to work harder. It's the best thing I could've done for myself. I feel energized. Honestly if people didn't know I was in this program they'd see the change and think, well, something very exciting must be happening in my personal life!" laughs Betty.

 

On this particular day her schedule is full as she completes her computer games, stops in the hall to share a laugh with the Center's coordinator, chats with the movement therapist about her progress and later heads off to the matinee-the Center's weekly Memory Matinee-to learn more about various tools to keep her brain strong and healthy. It's all part of caring for the vital and complex organ that is the brain.

 

 << Back to Fall 2012 Cottage Magazine

 

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