Sept. 25, 2019 – Fit Minds, a technology-based cognitive stimulation solution offering life-changing, research-backed programs for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, expands its foothold across Florida’s gulf coast by partnering with 21 senior living communities. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., Fit Minds is an effective non-pharmacological treatment option for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia that combines human-to-human, meaningful engagement with a sophisticated cognitive improvement measurement software that is quickly gaining traction across the state of Florida for its results.
President and CEO Janet Knupp brought Canada-based Fit Minds to Tampa in late 2017, following her mother’s diagnosis with Lewy Body, a form of dementia causing progressive decline in mental abilities. Knupp, a veteran education CEO with both private equity and not-for-profit experience, sought out a program that went beyond pharmaceutical care. When she began Fit Minds’ cognitive stimulation program with her mother, she was astounded by the results.
“I saw the magic,” said Knupp, “My mother was herself down to her last day of life. She knew who I was, and who her grandchildren were. She began reading and writing again. The data I was able to collect from her coaching sessions is how we knew when to make the difficult decision to move her from a senior living community to hospice, and she passed two weeks later. She left our world with dignity and an amazing quality of life.”
Like Knupp’s mother, clients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s have experienced positive results such as reading again, living independently, remembering family members, and in some Lewy Body cases, even keeping hallucinations at bay for extended periods of time. These results, as well as Fit Mind’s unique use of data-collecting software combined with human-to-human coaching is what has attracted many families and assisted living communities to partner with Fit Minds.
The Fit Minds program leverages technology to target five key areas of cognition to develop a customized mental stimulation plan led by a certified coach. Fit Minds’ coaches meet regularly with seniors to provide cognitive stimulation lessons, supporting what research tells us about the brain’s ability to build resilience and create new neuron pathways to prevent memory loss. Each lesson not only offers meaningful engagement for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it also allows family members to stay connected.
“My family and I are grateful to have wonderful coaches work with Mom on a weekly basis,” said Fit Minds’ client, Christi Harrington. “We especially enjoy the monthly assessment reports that show us her engagement with various subjects, and love to see how the Fit Minds staff always puts a smile on her face.”
The innovative program originated in Canada, where it is actively used in 25 percent of senior living communities. The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) mandates that CST therapy be offered to dementia patients upon first diagnosis.
“Fit Minds is an amazing program delivering real results that matter for the client, family and physicians overseeing the client’s care,” said Lead Senior Living Advisor at Allegro Hyde Park, Suzi Moreland. “I have seen firsthand the life-changing impact this program has on people.”
Fit Minds is currently available in 21 senior living communities in Florida, with investor-backed plans for rapid growth. It offers three primary programs: one-on-one coaching, large group sessions, and community subscriptions, allowing seniors to receive CST coaching from Fit Minds at home or on site at a senior living community.
Scott C. Smith, Fit Minds board chair, added, “A small group of us invested in Fit Minds because of our high confidence in Janet’s outstanding leadership, and her vision for Fit Minds to improve the quality of life for the millions of seniors and their families who face the challenges of onset dementia.”
An estimated 5.8 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease and by 2050 it will rise to nearly 40 million. “I want Fit Minds to be a game changer for seniors and for it to become the norm in Florida,” said Knupp. “Dementia changes relationships; it does not end them.”