Case Study - Minds in Motion

Minds in Motion®

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease nor can its progression be reversed. However, regular physical activity and lifestyle choices for people with dementia can significantly slow the progression of the disease and lead to a noticeable reduction in depression.

Minds in Motion® (MiM) is a community-based social program that incorporates physical and mental stimulation, and promotes social engagement for people with early to mid-stage signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias and their care partners. Developed by the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia in 2009, the MiM program is delivered in over 20 sites across the BC province.

“Excellent program - great people, got me out of the house and got a lot of information and communication with other people, I felt more comfortable being here a second time, saw an improvement in my mother - she smiled often!”

Staying true to the British Columbia’s concept, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario sought to introduce the program in Ontario, modeling it to its core concepts, audience and environment. The society engaged with new partners in Ontario to help develop the program, pilot in six locations and contributed to the development of a standardized approach to help frame an evidence-based program.

Working to improve the quality and quantity of evidence-based care in the community for people with brain disorders, the Ontario Brain Institute co-funded the start-up phase of MiM in Ontario, which included the development of program curriculum and program manuals, the promotional and awareness materials, training of MiM coordinators, volunteers and physical activity program leaders and delivery of the first 12 eight-week programs.

The program across the six sites proved to be a success, with 80% of participants returning to the program. Over 1200 participants with Dementia reported an increase in weekly frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity, undertaken outside of the program. Both people with dementia and care partners reported an improvement in well-being. Results suggested that MiM yields improvement in physical function, which may translate into better functional abilities for people with dementia and improved ability to care for people living with dementia for their partners.

The success of the program led to the expansion of MiM through support of Trillium grow grants on the local level along with other regional funding opportunities and provincial support in the continuous development of the program. Ontario and other provinces are interested in seeking larger scale funding nationally, to further develop training for recreational service providers so more than just MiM can be offered for people with dementia and other cognitive impairments.