Bigelow Center for Senior Activities

Organized by:
Bigelow Center for Senior Activities

Participating Organizations:

Sacred Heart University, Yale University School of Medicine, Cambridge Health and Rehabilitation Centers

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/ Briefing

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • Other
  • Professionals
  • Other: Seniors

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

REPORT TO DANA BRAIN FOUNDATION ON OUR BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK PROGRAM AND OUR COMMITMENT TO A YEAR OF BRAIN AWARENESS EDUCATION 1. Bigelow Center began this year by scheduling four Mental Aerobics Lunch and Learn Programs. The leader of these sessions is Ms. Danielle Ramos, CDP which stands for Certified Dementia Practitioner. Danielle Ramos is the Director of Business Development for Cambridge Health & Rehabilitation Centers located at 2428 Easton Turnpike, and 118 Jefferson St., Fairfield, CT. Here is Ms. Ramos explanation of her programs: “Mental stimulation, socialization and being engaged are crucial in the preservation of brain functioning and memory. Mental Aerobics takes all of these factors into account, proving to be an enjoyable and effective way to improve brain health. Throughout the session, a variety of brain games are employed which engage many components of one’s memory. One’s short-term memory, also known as working memory, is engaged as this is where we hold and manipulate information. One’s long-term memory is highly engaged, as this includes both explicit (conscious) memory and declarative memory (for facts and events). Mental Aerobics includes all of the engaging qualities to keep the brain active in an effective, yet fun way.”The first session was held on January 22, 2019 and 26 seniors participated. This program was repeated on May 21, and will continue on September 17 and December 17, 2019. It is estimated that this series will reach 100+ participants by December 17, 2019. 2. During Brain Awareness Week, on March 13, 2019 the Bigelow Center, in collaboration with Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT a talk was given, titled: “The Healthy Adult Brain: A Neuroscience Perspective.” The presenters were Professor Rachel E. Bowman, PhD of the Psychology Department and Associate Professor Mark Jareb, PhD who is a Professor of Biology. Sacred Heart offers a specialty in Neuroscience. The attendance was 81 people and this was a multi-media presentation. In addition, arrangements were made to video tape the presentation which was then broadcast over the Town of Fairfield’s public access television channels – potentially reaching 65,000+ residents. 3. On May 2, 2019 as part of our Spring Thursday Evening Lecture Series, Dr. David Schiller, a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, Fellow of the American Board of Brain Injury and Rehabilitation and a Fellow, American Board of Neurochemistry and Nutrition, presented a program titled: “All About Brain Fog.” Dr. Schiller told the audience about Functional Medicine, which focuses on identifying the causes of disease, so that meaningful treatment and prevention measures can be developed and implemented. He made connections between genetics, biochemistry, environmental issues, lifestyle factors and nutrition, and explained that any one or a combination may be the cause of brain fog. 81 seniors attended this lecture presented from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 4. On Thursday evening May 23, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. the Bigelow Center, in collaboration with Yale University School of Medicine, a lecture was given by Dr. Jaime Grutzendler. Dr. Grutzendler has been recognized by the Dana Brain Foundation for his exemplary work as a prominent neuroscientist. Dr. Grutzendler talked about the brain and it’s many functions, illustrating these with colorful photographs taken of human (cadaver) brains as they were stimulated in different ways. He also showed colorful photographs of brains in various states of malfunction. He discussed how malfunctioning genes can resulting in damage to brain cells. Dr. Grutzendler explained the various genes that are considered “possible” connections to neurodegenerative diseases and talked about the research going on as well as the research that still needs to continue. The talk ended on an upbeat note when Dr. Grutzendler explained that we must all remain hopeful because many things are being studied and discovered and it may not be too many years until either a treatment, cure or prevention will be found. There were 70 seniors in the audience and many gave excellent feedback to staff about Dr. Grutzendler’s talk and expertise. Overall, we believe our goals – to provide information, education, hope and resources for help were met with every activity.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Other

Other Publicity Methods:

Yale School of Medicine posted lecture on all computers throughout their entire system and all of their hospitals and outpatient locations. Bigelow Center also included articles in the monthly newsletter (circulate about 2,000)and our quarterly program guide – emailed to 3,000+Sacred Heart Universi

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Newsletter, Quarterly Program Guide and Flyers


Of the Dana Foundation publications/resources distributed at your event(s), if any, please indicate the three most popular. Please choose up to three. If "other," please indicate below:

  • Other
  • Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain
  • Brain-shaped Erasers
  • BAW Pencils

Other Dana Foundation Materials Distributed:

  • Booklets for children on understanding our brain – elementary level from Dana Alliance

What downloadable materials from the Foundation did you use for your events?

  • Kids Fact Sheets Grades 3-5
  • Q&A: Answering Your Questions About Brain Research Fact Sheets

What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?

  • New Fact Sheets
  • New Lesson Plans

Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?

  • BAW Logos

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

Seniors learned what a “normal brain” looks like and how it functions Seniors were introduced to many reasons for Brain Fog and what can be done about it. They also learned about functional medicine, and how, combined with neurology, prescriptive individualized plans can be created to improve and /or eliminate brain fog. Seniors were made aware of some current research efforts to understand what causes Alzheimer’s and they were given hope that treatments will most likely be developed in the next

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Contact Information

Contact Name:

Margaret E. Andrews

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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