Senior Mind Moves.

By Elma Vertue

If you are still breathing and can move one muscle, you can still make a contribution. – Dr John Demartini.

The residents living out their last chapter at Care in Midstream (CIM) are all still breathing, and all still have a contribution to make even if it is just to smile and make eye contact! We all need three things to make our lives worthwhile.

  1. To love and to be loved.
  2. To have something to do.
  3. To have something to look forward to.

Our residents did not have much choice and have had to give up control over most of their lives. Living in a small bed-sitter after running a home successfully, working at a career for many years or rearing children and giving them wings to fly, takes a lot of courage.

Yes, they are truly the top 5% of lucky elderly to live in the lap of luxury with a team of carers, nurses and staff members who call them by name, endearingly. Feelings of uselessness or being a burden to everyone are real for these residents.

I am the daughter of a resident at CIM. I am also a Senior Mind Moves Facilitator. I have chosen CIM to give back…not money or gifts, but time,

love and respect. Senior Mind Moves is my platform and my attempt at making a positive difference in the lives of the CIM residents.

What is Senior Mind Moves?

At Senior Mind Moves (SMM), our main objective is to bring hope by keeping all the senses stimulated, the brain awake and aware, and the muscles nimble and fit.

Dr Anat Baniel says: “Movement is life.”

At SMM, we know through years of scientific research that the brain organizes all movement of the body. In turn, the body’s movement stimulates the brain and organizes your thinking, feelings and emotions. It is a two-way street between the brain and body and without movement, the brain declines.

Dr Melodie de Jager is the founder of the Mind Moves Institute and is internationally known for her watershed-research in the field of neuroscience. She developed Senior Mind Moves for all Seniors 50 years and up, to ensure independence for as long as possible, remain active and productive for as long as possible and to keep adding value to our and other’s lives for as long as possible.

The science-based movements of Senior Mind Moves can be done lying down, sitting in a chair or standing upright, depending on your mobility! Music creates emotions, which becomes the fuel to start moving in rhythm, while sweet memories from yesteryear lift the spirit. Rolling and stretching our eyes stimulates memory, opens the mind and adjusts the attitude. Deep and conscious breathing brings much-needed oxygen to the brain and body and boosts our immune system. Hugging ourselves stimulates a much-needed touch-sense, bringing back a feeling of being loved and boosting the confidence. Just rocking back and forth in your rocking chair, helps to keep anxiousness at bay while exercising the core- and leg muscles, to keep us upright and on our feet as long as possible.

Wednesdays @ 11 am

At CIM, most residents are wheelchair-bound. Just “stepping-out” of their rooms and making eye-contact with their fellow housemates is huge. On Wednesdays, at 11 am, we lure them out with beautiful music blaring through the building. They arrive in drips and drabs, slumped in their chairs or hanging on to a carer while walking precariously to the lift, grumbling all the way. But 45minutes later, they are all sitting straighter, the lights are on in their eyes, they smile at each other, and some even make light conversation. Then the requests come for certain songs they remember from yesteryear, and I do my best to find it on my music app. There is no hurry to return to that very small world called their rooms. We enjoy a few extra minutes of music appreciation, moving in rhythm and lifting the spirit… even if just for one day.

Although no amount of Senior Mind Moves can make up for TIME spent with loved ones, we aim to bring hope and improve the quality of life.