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Database: IT03

Created On Friday, 29 November 2013 10:38 By José Jesús Delgado


ID Code (e. g. HU1):
IT03
1 – MIND/MENTAL FITNESS/MENTAL WELLBEING/MEMORY/COGNITIVE TRAINING PROGRAM / SERVICE /
ACTIVITIY NAME (IN NATIONAL LANGUAGE):
Progetto Camminamenti-Le menti in cammino
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: Move your minds – minds on the move project
URL
http://www.comune.udine.it/opencms/opencms/release/ComuneUdine/cittavicina/territorio/cittasane/ProgettoCamminaMenti.html
LANGUAGE Italian
AUTHOR
Healthy Cities Office of the Municipality of Udine

2 - CONTACT DATA AND TYPE OF ORGANIZATION
ORGANIZATION (NAME):
Ufficio “Città Sane” - Comune di Udine
ORGANIZATION (URL):
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
COUNTRY:
Italy
TYPE (SME, Company, Community Centre, Health Centre, Educational Centre, Foundation,
Municipality, governmental institution, etc):
Municipality
ADDRESS:
Via Sottomonte,34 33100 Udine
TELEPHONE: 0432 271384
E-MAIL: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  Public  
  In this case, please indicate the territorial
scope of the organization:
International

3 - TARGET POPULATION
Age range:
From: N/A to N/A years N/A
Older than: N/A years  
Gender: Unisex
SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS:
N/A

4 - CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MIND FITNESS PROGRAM / SERVICE / ACTIVITY (NB: Should the program, service or activity be included into more than one category, please select the most representative category for that PSA. But, REMEMBER: THE PSA MUST BE SELECTED ONLY IN CASE THAT MENTAL FITNESS / MENTAL WELLBEING IS INCLUDED IN ITS GENERAL AIMS OR GOALS. IF NOT, YOU SHOULD NOT SELECT IT. The characteristics below are the means, not the goal)
Promoting a healthy lifestyle, Providing opportunities for creative activities, Providing cognitive/memory training
Other: N/A
COST FOR PARTICIPATION, FEES (in Euros):N/A N/A Not defined
(EXPECTED) DURATION OF THE Programme/Service/Activity: N/A
Begin (Month/Year, e. g. 02/2012):0012-0012-0012
End (Month/Year, e. g. 02/2012):0012-0012-0012 or Number of weeks:N/A
Number of units:Not defined
Hours per unit:Not defined

5 - PROGRAM / SERVICE / ACTIVITY PURPOSES
The project aims to offer guidelines on how to keep and support the integrity of cognitive functions in senior citizens, adopting effective and practical modalities, within the project targeting the old age problem in the town of Udine.
Adopting healthy lifestyles is already a very good start to promote a healthy seniority. When using a holistic approach, our most important target is the will to train our cognitive functions: this will give a positive response to the fear of decaying so often present in the mind of old people and will also contribute to enhance self-esteem. With our age progressing, we also have an aging of our brain: this fact gives serious consequences in the everyday life of seniors, especially considering the memory issue (Benign senescent forgetfulness-Kral, 1962). When we improve our cognitive capability we are happier, more motivated and more self-confident (Vallar et al, 2007; De Beni-Cornoldi, 1986). When we do this, also our social relationships are improved (Mundo et al, 2009).
Our main targets are:
- the making of sustainable environments responding to personal needs, which can offer favourable stimulus for a cognitive health
- promoting a healthy old age through a personal and a group empowerment
- to guarantee the continuity, the development and diffusion of this initiative, involving the participants to this project
- the making of a model of scientific intervention based on everyday situations and adopting exercises and a field of interests that can help people to maintain their cognitive power following a path of a healthy lifestyle
- the promotion of significant intergenerational exchanges
Operational Steps

Step 0 (opening)
Cooperation with the Town Administration of the Project for its final written version and the definition of implementation modalities: presentation and first dissemination of the Project to targeted individuals, possibly involving also the town districts.We are planning an information phase just for the number of the individuals involved; a presentation and a public dissemination with the cooperation of the people involved seen as elements of this network and final receivers of the above procedures.
Step 1 (experimental)
Further sharing and dissemination of the project.
Finding and involving existing local resources, town districts, entertainment office, walking groups, reading groups, recreational activities office, life long learning schools, libraries, non-profit associations, schools etc.
Advertising of the project to promote participation and starting the enrolment of people (phase 1)Finding proper working locations and starting pilot groups.
Understanding their interests, preferences and fears, having participants filling out a starting questionnaire, written for the purpose, which will also indicate people’s level of perception of their old age life style modifications (these participants have already given their consent for this purpose).Finding working locations, school activities planning, preparation of tools, starting meetings.These will be weekly meetings of 2 hours each. During the first meetings, the presence of a person in charge of the project is recommended and this person will work together with the entertainers every time it will be necessary. All leading and responsible teachers will meet every month. The pilot groups will be one for every district and will include a maximum number of 15 and a minimum of 8 people. Before starting to work with each group, it will necessary to have a preparatory-informative meeting with participants (the first meeting is intended to be the informative one).
Monitoring and assessment phase 1.
It will be necessary to have meetings every 3 months with all participants to verify the correct development of the activity. At the end of the first 3 month period of group work, a questionnaire will be distributed among participants to collect their opinions about:
- the organization of spaces, time etc.
- proposed activities- personal satisfaction and appreciation
- further possible aspects offered and planned by the Promoting Institutions

Phase 2 (extensive)
During this phase the activities will include all town districts, still offering further meetings in addition to the ones planned for phase 1. At this stage, it will be possible to modify the project according to the results given by the questionnaires readapting also the working tools. The activities will be done in 3 month periods: Feb.-Apr. and Sept.-Nov. 2013.

Phase 2 : Monitoring and assessment
A questionnaire will be distributed at the end of the period as per phase 1. Promoting staff and people in charge will meet regularly for a general assessment.

Phase 3 (consolidation – autonomy)
We will give only generic outlines for this phase, since the same will have to be planned in detail according to the results obtained through previous work phases. We believe that for each group it will be necessary to have a person in charge of the activities and that will attend all planned meetings every month, working together with the activity givers and collecting all possible requests and proposals resulting within the working groups. During this phase the person in charge will offer supervision and counselling , supporting motivation and monitoring project development. All criteria for assessments will be agreed together with participating institutions.

6 - RESOURCES
a.- Which materials were used?
The trained cognitive functions
- attention and focus: perceptive games, gradual elongation of necessary time
- memory: visual-auditory-linguistic memory games, sense related activities (sense of touch included) , recalling and memory strategies
- language: production and comprehension, practice for semantic and phonetic skills, rhymes
- logical functions: abstraction, categorization, activities about logic, riddles, arithmetic thinking, completion of grammar and literature elements.
- Space-time orientation: orienteering, city maps, geographic and historical maps, history and types of calendars.
Manual skills and abilities: how to copy geometric figures, drawing and picture completion, object assembling and disassembling, eyes-hand coordination, simple and complex movement coordination, puzzles, guides, how to use manuals, forms.
b.- Who conducted the program / service activity? (What role, what qualifications, etc.)
knowledge enhancement, educational projects for senior citizens. We believe their contribution would be valuable.

7 - METHODOLOGY USED (presentations, pair work, group work, peers, mentors, blended
learning, e-learning, etc.)
We use the available resources of the territory so to vary and enrich the activities and, at the same time, to enhance motivation, proposing entertaining and practical activities and stimulating personal creativity and the pleasure of discovering new things. We must always keep in mind that the right approach is a natural approach: we should promote inter-generational exchanges, including knowledge of new technologies, network resources and the pleasure of sharing these notions with all the others. These personal exchanges will work as a linking bridge between generations among participants of all ages, helping to prevent and erase existing prejudices. We suggest to get in touch and ask the cooperation of Clubs dealing with card games, chess, entertaining math, cross words, social games, poetry and prose reading, music schools etc. You could also ask the population to contribute, bringing to a collection point suggestions, ideas of games, quizzes, drills, pictures, maps, proposals which will be evaluated and put into practice after being readapted to the situation. The setting up of all these materials will require great care and attention.

8 - PROGRAM / SERVICE / ACTIVITY SUMMARY DESCRIPTION
The project aims to offer guidelines on how to keep and support the integrity of cognitive functions in senior citizens, adopting effective and practical modalities, within the project targeting the old age problem in the town of Udine.Adopting healthy lifestyles is already a very good start to promote a healthy seniority. When using a holistic approach, our most important target is the will to train our cognitive functions: this will give a positive response to the fear of decaying so often present in the mind of old people and will also contribute to enhance self-esteem. With our age progressing, we also have an aging of our brain: this fact gives serious consequences in the everyday life of seniors, especially considering the memory issue (Benign senescent forgetfulness-Kral, 1962). When we improve our cognitive capability we are happier, more motivated and more self-confident (Vallar et al, 2007; De Beni-Cornoldi, 1986). When we do this, also our social relationships are improved (Mundo et al, 2009).

ADDIYIONAL COMMENTS:
Some scientific evidence

Mental exercises can help throughout our life to maintain our brain health. All free time activities and cultural commitments can slow down our natural cognitive decay (Scarmeas et al, 2001). Recent research clearly indicates that a constant brain exercise can even reduce the risk of getting old age dementia (Fratiglione et al., 2004)

The protective effect could be given by some kind of cerebral plasticity, the capability of our brain to modify itself in front of specific stimulation of the moment.

The theories of “Cerebral Reserve (threshold) (Katzman, 1993, Satz, 1993) and of “Cognitive Reserve” (Sten, 2002) talk about an active process of mental remodelling that can be enhanced by favourable local conditions which can happen during our entire life, protecting our brain from the risk of cognitive decay. Some other research shows that an active style of life along with some education and a good social and economic background can contribute to protect the old person from early signs of dementia and brain decay (Bennet et al., 2003, Karp et al, 2004).

The personal profiles of seniors, living in the town of Udine, seem to indicate favourable conditions and a fertile ground for such a possibility.

9 - ADDITIONAL COMMENTS / CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS FOR OUR
MATERIAL/COURSE
N/A

10 - RELATED REFERENCES (BIBLIOGRAPHY AND/OR INTERNET LINKS)

Benign senescent forgetfulness-Kral, 1962
Vallar et al, 2007
De Beni-Cornoldi, 1986
Mundo et al, 2009

Location : UPLOAD FILES (.pdf)