It's one thing to read about a new program imported from Japan and used by only one organization in the United States to fight dementia and Alzheimer's disease. It's another to see it with your own eyes.
The 2013 OPTIMA Award-winning SAIDO Learning program, captured in the three videos below during an Aug. 13 visit to the Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network’s Renaissance Retirement Campus in Olmsted Township, Ohio, features half-hour, five-day-a-week sessions in dedicated rooms. During each session, each caregiver, referred to as a supporter, guides one or two participating residents, called learners, through math and reading exercises tailored to their abilities. These exercises are designed to stimulate the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
The customization is one overarching principle associated with SAIDO sessions. Other principles are that learners receive continuous encouragement and that learners always receive perfect scores on their completed assignments.
The top video embedded in this page features two of the three tables of learners and supporters participating in a SAIDO session. At the first table shown, supporter Marne Sampsel works with learners Frances, 99, left, and Betty, 83, as they complete SAIDO brain exercises using the special materials designed for the program. At the next table shown, lead supporter Annette Darno works with learners Catherine, 92, and William, 96. Sampsel and Darno are Renaissance employees who volunteer their time to work with learners in the SAIDO program. Sampsel is a state-tested nursing assistant, and Darno is a housekeeper.
The second video shows Sampsel grading exercises completed by the learners with whom she is working.
In the third video, supporter Kay Buck cheers on learner Ruth, 81. Buck is a porter at the Renaissance and volunteers her time to work with learners in the SAIDO program.
The Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network is in the process of making the program available to other communities throughout the country via training and sublicensing.
Related SAIDO and OPTIMA Award winner coverage:
The gift of the present
How SAIDO Learning works
One-on-one with... Chelley Antonczak
The SAIDO clinical trial
SAIDO Learning: A timeline
Blog: The elusive high five
SAIDO Learning: Seeing is believing [PODCAST]
SAIDO Learning: 'It's remarkable' [PODCAST]
Videographer: Lois A. Bowers