Good News! Ageing Australians will soon benefit from a leading global Method of maintaining and improving brain health following successes in Spain, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The Hoffmann Methodology was developed by researcher and specialist in cognitive stimulation, Catalina Hoffmann in Spain and now includes the benefits of over 15 years of field research and scientific study.
The Hoffmann Methodology takes a truly holistic view of ageing “as an art” and demonstrates that cognitive and physical functions can be strengthened and improved at all stages of life. The Method includes physical, social, nutritional and psychological stimulation to assist people regardless of their pathology.
Participants are individually assessed but programs are delivered in a group environment which includes a high level of technology, tools, games and interactivities which provides a fun environment for prevention and rehabilitation.
Australian company Esprit de Vie has successfully launched the first Hoffmann programs through their strategic partner Life Care (www.lifecare.org.au) in Adelaide. According to Esprit de Vie’s Stephen Scotchmer, “Hoffmann Clubs” will be rolling out soon in other major capital cities.
So what is the Method in layman’s terms? According to Catalina, “Like with many parts of the body, it is well known that the brain deteriorates with age and brain cells start dying. This affects all parts of the body and mental functions, resulting in symptoms such as memory loss and lowered cognitive ability. In cases where parts of the brain become damaged because of trauma or disease such as dementia, the reduction in body and mind functionality can be extreme.”
“The Hoffmann Methodology has demonstrated that the elderly brain is capable of relearning through physical, neuropsychological, cognitive and social exercise routines. For over 12 years rolling out the Method and working with more than 7,000 cases, major improvements have been achieved in ailments such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, strokes and many more.”
“Our Methodology is based upon activating or reactivating the remaining good parts of the brain, in order to improve overall brain health.”
According to Catalina, there are no drugs or medications involved in the Hoffmann Method. Instead, “When a patient comes to us, we first go through a very extensive process of finding out about their lifestyle in order to establish a health and social profile. The work they do or did in the past, their relationships, their hobbies, the languages they speak and so on. With this information, we are able to establish which parts of the brain are being used and which parts need to be activated or stimulated.”
“Recent neuroscientific studies show that the brain can be regenerated by empowerment, exercise and use, that is, the brain can be moulded through exercises and specific therapies. Many studies have already demonstrated the ability to modify the synapse by appropriate activity during all stages of life and in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”
Catalina explains that there are literally thousands of ways of brain stimulation used. “We have a database of over 6,000 activities and therapies that can stimulate different parts of the brain. We then ‘prescribe’ individualised activities for each patient and monitor progress. At the core of our Method are these scientific and therapeutic innovations. We have a department dedicated to planning and designing therapies and activities. All of these will be available to Esprit de Vie in Australia.”
Stephen explains that. “The therapies and activities seem very straightforward and things you will have seen before such as craft therapy, animal therapy, music, reading, robotic interactions, outings and role-plays. What makes them different in this Method is that they are being recommended individually with given outcomes in mind that can be measured and demonstrated. It is just so amazing to see changes in people after just a few months. I’ve seen changes in moods, reductions in anxiety and depression, improvement in sleeping and general engagement with life.”
According to Stephen, “One of the things that attracted us to the Hoffmann Method is that it is tailor-made for each individual. The therapies are changed and amended to fit the individual and not the other way around. This is truly individualised therapy at its best.”