Try Mind Aerobics™ To Meet Your Cognitive Fitness Goals This Year!

New Section Starts Feb. 4: Call For Your Required Screening Today!

When most people think about aerobics, they think of vigorous exercises, such as swimming or walking, designed to strengthen the heart and lungs. We all know that it's important to keep your body active, but what about your mind?

Syracuse Jewish Family Service offers a three-month program designed to keep your brain actively challenged! Mind Aerobics™, developed by the New England Cognitive Center, is a fun, evidence-based, award winning suite of programs designed to provide older adults with comprehensive mental workouts that can help maintain or improve cognitive functioning or slow cognitive decline. These programs are developed to systematically stimulate six major cognitive areas of the brain, instead of focusing on only one or two cognitive skill areas like other programs. The Mind Aerobics TM suite of programs are designed for several levels of function, including healthy adults, individuals with mild cognitive impairment, and individuals with early stage, moderate or severe dementia.

Contact Ellen Somers, Assistant Director, for more information and to set up a screening to determine which level is the right one for you: 315-446-9111, x225; or

The program focuses on stimulating:

  • Reaction Time/Processing Speed
  • Problem Solving/Executive Function
  • Visual Spatial Relations
  • Attention and Concentration
  • Language
  • Memory

The New England Cognitive Center

The New England Cognitive Center (NECC) is a non-profit organization located in New London, CT that develops and disseminates research-based cognitive fitness programs. NECC combines the latest advances in neuropsychological research with sound educational principles to create effective interventions that enhance brain health, independence, and quality of life. The organization’s focus is on older adults who wish to maximize mental functioning, from individuals who have no cognitive impairment to individuals with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Mind Aerobics was the 2013 recipient of the American Society on Aging’s Mind Alert Award

Mind AerobicsTM classes are organized by cognitive level and participants are grouped into classes based on their cognitive function. Each level has 24 onehour sessions over the course of 12 weeks. Classes are taught by trained Mind AerobicsTM instructors. Thanks to generous funding from the Central New York Community Foundation, the Health Foundaiton for Western and Central New York, and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, over the next year SJFS will be rolling out a limited schedule of four Mind AerobicsTM program levels in Central New York. Individuals will be able to enroll directly in some of these; agencies may also choose to sponsor programs for their own clientele.
  • Mind SharpenerTM - Normal to forgetful
    • Mind Sharpener™ targets individuals who have no impairment or very mild cognitive decline. Although they may have subjective complaints of memory deficit or occasional difficulty with word-finding, there are no objective deficits. These participants live independently.
  • Mind WorksTM – Mild to moderate cognitive decline
    • Mind Works™ targets individuals who have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia. Problems in memory (especially for recent events), concentration, word-finding, planning, handling finances, and performing complex tasks may have been noted. Others in their environment have noticed changes. These participants generally live at home or in assisted living.
  • Lively Mind™ - Moderate cognitive decline
    • Lively Mind™ targets individuals who may have been diagnosed with mild or earlystage dementia. Decreased memory of recent events, problems in performing sequential tasks and difficulties with mental arithmetic may be noted. They generally require some assistance with independent living.
  • Active Mind™ - Moderately severe cognitive decline
    • Active Mind™ targets individuals who may have been diagnosed with moderate or midstage dementia. Major gaps in memory and other cognitive functions are frequently evident. These participants require some assistance with activities of daily living and may experience confusion about time and place. They generally live at assisted living, skilled nursing facilities or at home with 24-hour supervision.

NECC programs are the only effective, evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation interventions shown by independent research to provide cognitive stabilization, with some domains showing actual improvement, across several levels of cognitive function (from no impairment through severe impairment).

For more information on participating, as an individual or an organization, contact Ellen Somers, Assistant Director (315)446-9111 ext. 225;

Upcoming Events

Center for Healthy Living/OASIS classes

Enrolling soon through Syracuse OASIS
o Thursdays,  Jan. 17 & Feb. 14, 1:30pm - 3pm, “Poetry as Spiritual Practice with poet and poetry teacher Gloria Heffernan

o Sundays, 1/6; 1/27; 3/ 3; and 3/31, from 3pm - 5:30pm: “Views on Aging: Through the Movie Lens”, with SJFS Director Judith Huober

o Tuesdays, 2/12-3/19, from 1:30pm - 3:00pm, “Zen and the Art of Graceful Aging” with Peg Miller, LMSW

o Tuesdays, 3/26-April 16, from 1:30pm - 3:00pm, “Zen and the Art of Caregiving” with Peg Miller, LMSW

o Mon-Weds, Feb 4-April 24, 3:00pm - 4:00pm, "Mind AerobicsTM: Mind Sharpener with Ellen Somers. Pre-screening required; contact Ellen.

M-Power U Now Enrolling for Arts and Minds Community

M-Power U — A Learning Community for Early Memory Loss: We are now  enrolling participants for a new section called An Arts and Minds Community on Fridays starting February 16 from 11:30am to 3:30pm at Menorah Park. Contact SJFS Assistant Director Ellen Somers at x. 225 to make an appointment for screening and information!

Planning to Flourish: Lunchtime Conversations about Aging Well

Lunch & Learn with a SJFS Solutions Care Manager

March 3, 2019 , 11:30 am-1:00pm 

Bernat Special Events Rm , Le Moyne College—Noreen Reale Falcone Library

Open to All!