Dr. Nussbaum’s Essential Lifestyle Factors for Brain Health

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, clinical neuropsychologist and Adjunct Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, recently visited The Kenwood by Senior Star. His book, “Save Your Brain,” was named to AARP’s list of “Top Five Books for Brain Fitness.” Dr. Nussbaum discussed the anatomy of the brain, the concept of “brain health” and some straightforward tips that can improve brain health as individuals age.
One of the concepts I was most interested in learning about is the brain health diagnostics quiz featured in Dr. Nussbaum’s book. What is a brain health diagnostics quiz, you ask? Although it’s not scientific in nature, the quiz helps assess an individuals’ overall brain health, based on the points they earn to a set of lifestyle-related questions. Here is a sample of some of the questions the quiz asks:
Physical Activity:
I walk 10,000 steps daily 5 points
I walk between 5000 and 10,000 steps daily 3 points
I do not walk daily 0 points

Mental Stimulation:
I am fluent in more than one language 5 points
I am learning a new language (including American Sign Language) 3 points
I am not learning a new language 0 points

I eat several ounces of salmon two or more times a week 5 points
I eat salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, or tuna once a week 3 points
I do not eat fish 0 points

I meditate on a daily basis 5 points
I meditate once a week 3 points
I do not meditate 0 points

I eat one meal with family/friends every day 5 points
I eat one meal with family/friends weekly 3 points
I do not eat meals with anyone 0 points

Dr. Nussbaum’s quiz reveals the lifestyle factors – physical, mental, social, spiritual and nutritional – that contribute to brain health as individuals age. His approach is quite similar to the holistic approach to senior living that is embodied at The Kenwood by Senior Star. For example:
Physical: Residents enjoy a number of physical activities at The Kenwood, among them, an aquatic program certified by the Arthritis Foundation and small-group exercise and movement classes. We also have ShapeMaster® fitness machines available, which provide our residents a full body workout while reducing the possibility of injuries. Mental: Our residents are offered opportunities to attend lectures, classes and stimulating discussions on array of subjects. We use state of the art technology, such as Dakim® BrainFitness™, to give residents the opportunity to keep their minds sharp through individualized, highly-stimulating brain games.
Spiritual: We offer residents many ways to relax, meditate and/or grow their faith lives – from a full-service day spa, Yoga classes, Bible study and special religious observances. An on-site chapel is available for private worship, and for those who attend church regularly, a personal town car or shuttle is available to transport residents to their respective places of worship.
Social: Programing like Laughter Yoga, art, and cooking classes, allow our residents to stay active all day, and interact with one another at their leisure. Several clubs that residents belong to, like the Cincinnati Whist Club, also hold meetings and social events at The Kenwood.
Nutritional: We provide residents with the best in-house, five-star cuisine available. Our Executive Chef, Robert Giesman, and his team provide residents with a made-to-order menu focusing on special dietary needs and heart-healthy options. For more information on The Kenwood please call us at 513-223-3921. We would love to welcome you for a personalized visit.

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