Keys to a Sharp Mind: Providing Choice and Quality Programming in a Retirement Community

  • Jeanette S. Biermann
  • Paula E. Hartman-Stein
  • Paula E. Hartman-Stein


Keys to a Sharp Mind (K2SM) was a pilot project designed to change the way intellectual programming was produced for residents of the independent living ­section of a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). The intention was to apply current research in cognitive science that suggests age-related mental decline may be delayed or at least slowed by engaging in cognitively stimulating activities within a social context. The program was built on the idea that independent living residents will have greater motivation to participate in lifelong learning if they are given the opportunity to create and choose course offerings. In this chapter we delineate defining principles and program evaluation methodology along with ­lessons learned and the impact the project had on participants and subsequent ­programming at the facility. A list of the programs and suggestions for future implementations in similar retirement communities are provided.


Focus Group Project Director Nursing Home Resident Autonomy Support Geriatric Depression Scale 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanette S. Biermann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paula E. Hartman-Stein
    • 3
  • Paula E. Hartman-Stein
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Healthy AgingKentUSA
  2. 2.Counseling PsychologyUniversity of AkronAkronUSA
  3. 3.Center for Healthy AgingKentUSA
  4. 4.Department of Human Development and Family Studies, College of Education, Health and Human ServicesKent State UniversityKentUSA

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