Brain aerobics, exercising the aging mind

As we age, our memory starts to fade and it gets harder to remember things.

But there's a unique program that's helping seniors keep their minds sharp and focused.

It's called brain aerobics, a class designed to exercise the mind when old age starts to slow you down.

For Joyce Gilley and her husband Richard, attending the class every week is a no brainer.

"I think it keeps you more sharp than if you didn't do anything like that," says Joyce.

"I think a lot of older people let things go because they don't think it's important to them but then in the end sometimes they find out they are," says Richard.

Through various games and exercises, the class is all about giving the aging brain a workout. Richard says, "It is a brain teaser and it shows you how much you don't know anymore and how much you've forgotten."

The weekly hour long class is offered at Broadmead, a retirement community in Cockeysville.

Speech pathologist Chuck Warnke teaches the class. "If you do a cross word puzzle everyday, that tends to become a pattern and the brain can get used to it. So it doesn't give you the same benefit as if you do something new everyday so in the class we try all different kinds of exercises… The tasks and the pressure put on the brain for constant stimulation throughout the day at your job or raising a family, once that goes away even though you're active retired you still need that pressure you still that new stimulation to keep the cognitive processing centers of the brain."

For Joyce, it's time well spent to help keep her aging mind sharp and focused. "Nobody feels embarrassed if they've made a mistake or don't get it because we're all doing the same thing and it makes it real comfortable to do it."

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