Feature Initiative: Boost Your Brain


Boost Your Brain Grants Support Programs to Enhance the Mental Health of Older Adults

The health of a community depends upon the health of all ages–young and old. That is why Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) designated Older Adults as one of its three focus areas. Guided by its Older Adults Work Group, the Foundation’s goal is “to create the healthiest community in the U.S. by promoting physical and mental health and well-being through an elder-friendly environment with a focus on prevention.”

Boost Your Brain, one of the Foundation’s newest initiatives, is inspiring and supporting programs that will enhance the mental health of seniors in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville. This is designed to keep the local seniors active in the community and able to fend off depression and mental decline.

WPHF in July 2009 awarded five grants for brain health programs totaling just over $105,000.

Awards were made to the following organizations:

Alzheimer’s Association

Under this program, the Alzheimer’s Association will present its “Maintain Your Brain” workshop as an introduction to brain health in Winter Park, Maitland and Eatonville. Following the workshop, Brain Health Clubs will be created throughout the area.

Crosby YMCA Wellness Center

The YMCA program combines existing services with new ones to offer a total Boost Your Brain package to Crosby YMCA members.  Members will receive a “Passport to Brain Health” and will be able to earn passport stamps by participating in brain health activities.

Orlando Health

The “50+ Boost Your Brain Camp” is a collaborative effort between Orlando Health, the Town of Eatonville and Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.  The program, much of which will take place at the Denton Johnson Community Center in Eatonville, will offer three five-week “camps” with classes and activities three days per week.

Seniors First

This program, while focused initially on the Winter Park Calvary Towers Neighborhood Lunch Site, could potentially be replicated at congregate meal sites throughout Orange County. Seniors First requested funds to hire a part-time coordinator to create a Boost Your Brain program to be piloted at the Calvary Towers site.

Warner Chapel Outreach Ministries

Warner Chapel, located in West Winter Park, currently operates a senior health and wellness program as part of their outreach ministries.  The program, O.W.L.S (Older Wiser Leading Seniors) also has a strong relationship with the City of Winter Park and the older adult program that meets regularly at the Winter Park Community Center.  Funds from the Boost Your Brain program will allow participants from both programs to enhance their lives through the addition of nutrition education, Sit and Be Fit exercise, and a health fair.

Click here to learn more about the Boost Your Brain Initiative.