Memory intervention: the value of a clinical holistic program for older adults with memory impairments

Aging Ment Health. 2014 Mar;18(2):169-78. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2013.819832. Epub 2013 Jul 29.


Objectives: Increasingly, cognitive training appears an asset in improving attention and working memory for older adults. We conducted a study involving a 'holistic' training program for several cohorts of older adults (N = 112), targeting community residents with a spectrum of memory complaints ranging from Age Associated Memory Impairment to mild dementia.

Method: We developed a 7-session, manualized program targeting concentration, as well as mindfulness, exercise, stress reduction, socialization, diet, and values/identity techniques. We applied this model to 11 cohorts and conducted pre- and post-testing on memory (List Learning, Story Memory, Coding, Digit Span, Recall, and Recognition) and function (Functional Assessment Questionnaire). We also divided the Memory Group by Risk Status - Low, Medium, and High.

Results: Results showed that the Memory Clinic Group as a whole improved on this training on most scales. When broken down by risk status, the Low and Medium Risk Groups were statistically superior to the High Risk Group on cognitive measures.

Conclusion: There were differences also on adjustment, this time favoring only the Low Risk Groups. Holistic memory training seems to be impactful for older adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Therapy / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / therapy*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Mindfulness / methods
  • Program Development / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome