The normal decline of mental and physical abilities in old age, possibly ending in dementia, is a major challenge for those affected and those around them.
In the research project “go4cognition”, an interdisciplinary team of specialists from various institutions – including neuropsychologists, sports scientists, doctors, nursing scientists and software developers – is developing a system that will improve the mental and physical abilities of senior citizens or at least keep them at their current level.
This project is funded by the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
- Ruhr-University Bochum (Clinical Neuropsychology)
- Hamburger Fernhochschule (Study Centre Essen, Health and Care)
- BG Clinic Duisburg
- Senior Citizens’ Centre “Gute Hoffnung” Oberhausen
- Ontaris Wuppertal
Exercise, health and mental abilities are very closely linked. Exercise leads to health and a better sense of well-being. In addition, exercise also leads to improved brain function and memory. Additional brain training brings further success in the development of mental abilities.
With go4cognition 3 special areas are addressed and trained:
|Cognition:||Through games for memory, divided attention, word fluency, etc.|
|Mobility:||Through walking; Participants cover approximately 800 to 1000 meters on foot in one training session.|
|Social skills:||The participants act and communicate with each other, solve tasks together, exchange ideas and take care of each other.|
The pilot phase will be accompanied by studies on cognition, activity and acceptance.
The participants train playfully in groups of 10 people each. The training takes place twice a week for 1.5 hours in the morning and lasts for a total of 12 weeks for one group. During this time, the players will be intensively supervised by scientists from the Ruhr University in Bochum and the Hamburg Fernhochschule, as well as by the Good Hope physiotherapists.
The training takes place in a large room with 6 play stations. Each player receives a light stick that electronically remembers its owner. The players line up at one station each, where they are then given a task, e.g. 1 5 2 4.
First the station displays the individual task, after a countdown the station name (number, letter, picture etc.).
The task now is to go to stations 1, 5, 2 and 4. It is important to remember the stations and the order. At each station, the player puts the baton down so that the system recognizes who is there. The system dynamically increases or decreases the level depending on the player’s success.
The games are diverse and are constantly being developed.
In the first part of the project, around 40 elderly people with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) from the Oberhausen Senior Citizens’ Centre took part in a training programme at the Athletikum Rhein Ruhr of the BG Unfallklinik in Duisburg. The heart of this movement laboratory is a sensor-equipped mat system. This is normally used by competitive athletes and rehabilitation patients after accidents to train, for example, gait and running patterns, coordination, explosive kicks and dynamic changes of direction. However, the mat system is also very suitable for training physical and cognitive skills of people with MCI. The Oberhausen seniors, who will be at the Athletikum Rhein Ruhr for six weeks and twelve training sessions, will complete a predefined course with numbered contact fields on several occasions. The order of the fields to be approached – for example 1, 8, 7, 3 – is presented to the test persons only briefly on a screen. In order to find the right way, the test persons have to remember the order of the numbers, search for the right fields and then aim at them. Through this combination of cognitive training with physical exercise, mental and physical fitness are trained.
Based on the experience and results in the athletic center, Ontaris developed a new high-tech system that is mobile and can be set up quickly.
Would you like to receive more information about go4cognition? Give us a call:
Stefan Orth (GF)
Phone: +49 (202) 37155-10
You can also send us your request via our contact form. We will get back to you immediately: