Pfalzklinikum is a service provider for mental health in the Palatinate in Southwest Germany. Its three certified day centers for the elderly focus on the promotion of cognitive and motoric skills
The tips of your thumbs touch the other fingertips of your hands one after the other. First the index finger, then the middle finger, after that the ring finger and finally the little finger. Both hands perform this exercise parallelly, however, in opposite directions. If the left hand begins with thumb – index finger, the right hand starts with thumb – little finger.
This exercise elucidates one of the fundamental principles of the SimA® training. SimA® stands for “autonomy in old age” (Selbstständigkeit im Alter). By linking movement and memory performance both cerebral hemispheres are addressed simultaneously. It has been proven that, thus, maximum training results are achieved. This concept was worked out already in 1991 based on a prevention study of the University of Nürnberg-Erlangen in Germany headed by Prof. Dr. Wolf Dieter Oswald, and the positive effects in case of regular training were substantiated in two longitudinal studies conducted over several decades.
Training promotes cognitive and motoric skills
Since 2015 Pfalzklinikum has offered the SimA® training, too. Pfalzklinikum is a service provider for mental health in the Palatinate in Southwest Germany. Its three certified day centers for the elderly focus on the promotion of cognitive and motoric skills and, thus, pursue a resource-orientated approach to maintain their day guests‘ autonomy as long as possible.
“It’s great that my father is fostered in the day center despite his forgetfulness. At home he shows more interest now and leafs through the newspaper again“, says a day guest‘s relative.
Being the first scientifically proven non-drug training concept for cognition and psycho-motorics, the particularity of the program is its continuous adjustment of the level of difficulty. Therefore, this training can also be used for persons suffering from dementia or other cognitive impairment. For these people, too, the second study proved a positive effect regarding their autonomy. So, the frequency of falls was reduced and the learned skills could be transferred from practice to every-day life. The more often the training is carried out, the better the results. However, one training session a week is enough to maintain one’s autonomy and promote resources.
Certified programme offered in all three day centres
The SimA® training can only be offered by trained and certified persons having passed a written examination. The qualification comprises several modules with a total of 56 teaching units. In these, the basics of memory, psycho-motorics, changes due to dementia, skills training and bibliographical work are imparted. In the subsequent practical period the knowledge shall be put into practice. The qualification ends with a written examination.
The three day centers for the elderly have seven SimA® trainers and are, thus, certified as an institution. The SimA® activity offered in the day centers is embedded in a varied and personalized range of services and activation programs. The day centers care for people over the age of sixty who seek company and exchange and specifically wish to maintain their autonomy. Naturally this offer also supports the caring relatives at home since the burden on them is eased and practical skills for every-day life are trained.
Source: https://www.sima-akademie.de/simar/was-ist-simar/ – accessed July 2, 2018 and https://www.sima-akademie.de/simar/wissenschaftlicher-hintergrund/ – accessed July 2, 2018
Author: Lisa Ehrhardt, Deputy Director Regional Offers – Living in Old Age, Pfalzklinikum