Health and Fitness Information for Mature Adults 

April 02, 2009

Table of Contents

  • Brain Fitness Linked to Financial Fitness (Industry news)
  • Vegas, Baby! (NCOA national meeting)
  • SFA Honored (Accepts Best Practice Award)
  • Education Rules (A vast exchange of knowledge)
  • Feeling Lucky (What a great place for a conference)

Brain Fitness Linked to Financial Fitness

Despite our headline, the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) has not uncovered scientific evidence that personal wealth improves cognitive function -- although there's a case to be made that the stress of financial hardship may adversely affect it. Instead, we're posting three major announcements about SFA's brain fitness professional education program, each of which is designed to help your pocketbook:

  • SFA's new distance-learning course Brain Fitness for Older Adults: How to Incorporate Cognitive Fitness into Physical Activity Programming is preapproved for 2.0 American Council on Exercise (ACE) continuing education credits (CECs). ACE professionals need to earn 2.0 ACE-approved CECs every two years for certification renewal. That is comparable to 20 contact hours of continuing education. SFA's brain fitness program fulfills this requirement economically -- all in one high-value course.
  • A new educational DVD has joined the learning resources provided by SFA's Brain Fitness for Older Adults professional training program. In addition to the PBS documentary "The Brain Fitness Program," course participants now also receive "Brain Fitness 2: Sight & Sound." This film explores the premise that, regarding the aging process, our brain ultimately holds the key to personal independence. The American Senior Fitness Association is making this additional educational tool available at no increase in program price. "Brain Fitness 2: Sight & Sound" elaborates on a number of study topics addressed by Brain Fitness for Older Adults. These subjects involve the visual, auditory, and vestibular systems. Students will learn why synesthesia is significant to the study of cognitive function, why one's "useful field of view" is critically important to personal independence, why modern neuroscientists are keenly interested in optical illusions, and more!
  • On top of these value-added program enhancements, Brain Fitness for Older Adults is now being offered at spring savings rates, but only through Wednesday, April 15, 2009. For complete information, please click here.

  • Vegas, Baby!

    The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the American Society on Aging (ASA) joined together to present the 2009 Aging in America Conference in Las Vegas on March 15-19, 2009. The immense national convention featured hundreds of educational symposiums, lectures, and workshops. The activities were held in the well-appointed meeting facilities of Bally's Las Vegas and Paris Las Vegas. As stated in the 212-page conference guide: "As a member of this dynamic conference community you are among leaders in the field exploring the new ideas, new approaches, latest research and future opportunities essential to your continued success." Details follow.

    American Senior Fitness Association Honored

    During the Aging in America Conference, SFA officials were pleased to accept the 2009 Best Practices in Health Promotion and Wellness Award. According to the National Council on Aging's Health Promotion Institute: "This award recognizes a program, initiative, or service that enhances the health and wellness of older adults."

    The proceedings began with an educational seminar on the morning of March 17, during which SFA president Janie Clark gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining the association's mission, professional support services, contributions to senior fitness scientific research, and leadership on older adult quality-of-life initiatives. SFA was specifically saluted for its professional education systems that prepare older adult physical fitness trainers, instructors, and recreational activity leaders.

    Also recognized were: the Wellness Garden Program innovated by Glacier Hills Retirement Community, New Vitality's whole-person health and wellness program, and Oasis evidence-based health programs. In coming weeks, Experience! will showcase instructive details regarding NCOA award-winning health and wellness strategies, in particular the wellness garden concept, which senior fitness professionals are sure to find charming and practical to implement.

    That evening, it was off to the awards reception, at which SFA president Janie Clark spoke again briefly and the American Senior Fitness Association formally received the 2009 Best Practices Award in Health Promotion and Wellness.

    Education Rules

    The Aging in America Conference was attended by a wide range of service providers including physicians, nurses, occupational and recreational therapists, health-fitness and wellness professionals, nursing home administrators, assisted living facilities administrators, gerontologists, mental health professionals, social workers, and others.

    Conference sessions addressed a plethora of topics, including: fall prevention, senior center operations, older adult ministries, drug and alcohol dependency, volunteerism in older adults, business and clinical practice considerations, hospice and palliative care, retirement planning, public policies, geriatric research, age-related cultural and minority issues, technological advances, medical innovations, depression, dementia, family caregiving, physical activity -- the list goes on and on. Great emphasis was placed on the provision of evidence-based services and programming. Following is only a brief sampler of the extensive menu of interesting program titles:

  • Creating and Nurturing Connection Through Art
  • Equipping Communities to Prepare for Boomers
  • Seniors4Kids: Intergenerational Advocacy Works
  • Arthritis Self-Management
  • Laughing Your Way to Wellness
  • 50-Plus Marketing: From Age-Based to Age-Less?
  • Community Approach to Cognitive Fitness
  • Fit and Strong! An Evidence-Based Program
  • Politics of Aging in the 21st Century
  • How to Have Difficult Conversations
  • Outcomes-Based Fitness
  • Changing the Culture of Long-Term Care Through Activities
  • Personality Disorders in Older Adults
  • Positive Psychology: Building on the Strengths of Age
  • The Doctor Is In! Referral to Wellness Programs
  • The Other Side of the Coin: How Can We Deal With Unsuccessful Aging?
  • Senior Transportation: Technology-Related Initiatives
  • Four Stages of Retirement: Meeting Changing Needs
  • The Bridge That Links Behavioral and Physical Health
  • The preceding short-list of presentation examples does not scratch the surface of the myriad educational opportunities available to attendees of the 2009 Aging in America Conference. With so much to see and do, the challenge for most participants was choosing among an overabundance of compelling options! As you can see, many topics in addition to senior fitness were explored during this comprehensive summit, creating an environment reflective of the many factors at play in today's aging society.

    Feeling Lucky

    Keenly aware that an all-work-no-play approach to life acts against optimal brain fitness, SFA officers were able to avoid that risk in Las Vegas! "I'm not into gaming," says Janie Clark, "but I do love the bright lights and spectacle of Las Vegas."

    Grant Clark deadpans, "Coming as we did from a quiet beach town in Florida, we found ample opportunity to cognitively process much novel stimuli, including the Mirage volcano, Treasure Island's pirate ship, Bellagio's fountains, and the Eiffel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas."

    Janie enjoyed the shopping at Caesars Palace Forum Shops and Planet Hollywood's Miracle Mile Shops. "I experienced a major shoe emergency shortly before the awards ceremony, but was able to resolve it perfectly with some intensive Las Vegas shopping."

    Tourist accounts aside, the 2009 Aging in America Conference was a success by every measure. On a more serious note, additional conference highlights, including the profiles of selected exhibitors, will be shared in upcoming issues of Experience!

    Experience! readers: Thank you for your interest and questions. Due to the high volume of contacts SFA receives, we cannot respond to individual queries or comments. However, the newsletter does address frequently asked questions and topics of vital interest to our members.

    Free SFA basic membership: If you aren't already a member of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), just sign up online at There are no fees or membership dues. And, we don't give out our members' personal information to others! When you join SFA, you'll receive our e-newsletter "Experience!" which will bring you older adult fitness news, research, and wellness tips.

    Fitness and health professionals: You may distribute copies of Experience! to your exercise clients and patients as a free newsletter service. Copies of Experience! or excerpts therefrom must always ascribe credit to the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA). To fulfill that requirement, include the complete banner (title information at the top of each newsletter) as well as all post-newsletter notes, messages, copyright information, and the SFA logo.
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