Stetson University will soon welcome Brain Fitness Academy, a cognitive rehabilitation program for older adults living with early-stage dementia or cognitive deficits. BFA is an established program with three locations throughout Central Florida. In 2013, BFA won the International Council on Active Aging’s Innovators Achievement Award. Stetson University’s BFA is the fourth location in Florida and the first location in Volusia County.

Cognitive activities include memory, attention processing, problem solving, language and mnemonics. Light physical activity includes stretching, breathing, balancing, short walks through campus, chair yoga, dance and tai chi. Social tasks include facts of the day, trivia, jeopardy, history, etc. Throughout the semester, participants visit the Hand Art Center and Gillespie Museum on Stetson campus, greet therapy dogs in the library, celebrate holidays, host an in-class Talent and Hobby show, and listen to the student interns present Senior Research projects.

“Steve Copple attended the spring semester of BFA,” his wife, Pat Copple, like her husband a resident at Alliance Community in DeLand, said. “The benefits he received while in the program included a stronger sense of cognitive response, evidenced by an increase in his 6-month cognitive assessment; a bond with others who share similar cognitive challenges; and enjoyment of the varied activities.”

Copple said her husband will enroll in the fall semester as well.

Stetson’s BFA offers a simultaneous care partner support group, allowing for a variety of support experiences, including psychoeducation, resource access, and regular support groups.

The next Stetson University BFA semester starts on Aug. 29. The application for participation is now open.

For cost and more information on participating in Stetson’s BFA, contact Sarah Garcia, Ph.D., at or 386-822-7068.


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