Emily is the director of MindSense – our neurocognitive enrichment and brain health initiative program. Research shows that cognitive enrichment programs can help improve brain function and decrease social isolation especially among older populations. Following a baseline assessment, Emily individually tailors sessions based on the client’s cognitive abilities and skillfully uses their unique interests and strengths to leverage engagement. A broad range of modalities and tools are used in her home-based sessions. She gives her clients cognitive “homework,” so caregivers and family members can extend the reach of the exercises. Emily received her Bachelors of Science degree in Neuroscience from Lafayette College and has research experience in neurodegenerative diseases. She also has experience in the skilled nursing facility environment providing engaging experiences with compassion and empathy for those with memory impairments.
“Empowering the elderly has always been a passion of mine. As I watched my grandfather age, I noticed how impactful companionship was in relieving boredom and isolation. He is an abstract artist and painter in his late eighties and was active with his work until his physical condition limited some of his abilities. I began engaging him in other ways to express his artistic talents – we did simple group sketching, abstract brushwork and read about famous artists. I discovered that classical music brightened his mood if he felt down and listening to his favorite baseball games on a headset excited him. This stayed with me as I studied neuroscience and learned about how structured cognitive enrichment sessions can have a neuroprotective effect on the aging brain. The MindSense program allows me the opportunity to enhance my clients’ everyday experience and bring joy, creativity and connection to their lives.”