Older adults aged 65 years and older are the fastest growing age group in Windsor-Essex region. With an aging population comes a critical need for effective interventions that can help older adults to age well. This challenge is compounded by the COVID-19 public health crisis which means that many older adults are unable to leave home to engage in beneficial social and cognitive activities, which are known maintain well-being and reduce future risk of dementia. A potential solution would be to provide older adults with evidence-based interventions that can be delivered remotely over the Internet to provide education about brain health maintenance, training in strategies to reduce cognitive difficulties, and social stimulation. Beyond benefits during the current public health crisis, establishing and validating online interventions can help improve access to evidence-based, specialized cognitive programs for older adults who reside outside of major urban centres or have disabilities that create a barrier for attendance in in-person programs.
The goal of this project is to conduct a pilot evaluation of an online version of a cognitive intervention program for older adults that combines self-directed psychoeducational modules with live group videoconferencing sessions with peers and a clinical neuropsychologist.