While socialization is vital to mental health for everyone, it’s especially helpful as we age, as it can help prevent mental decline and lower the risk of dementia. Collabria Care’s Mind Boosters program is a community program for those who may be in the early stages of memory loss and those who want to be proactive in protecting their brain health.

According to her daughter Barbara Willard, Kay Meihaus can strike up a conversation with anyone, a skill honed by a life filled with family, travel, volunteer work and a love of people and conversation. At 100 years old, she no longer travels the world, but she’s found an enjoyable outlet for maintaining her social as well as other cognitive skills through Collabria Care’s Mind Boosters program.

In 1945, Kay married her childhood sweetheart Jack. Jack, as an enlisted soldier in the Navy during World War II, finished medical school training at Indiana University School of Medicine in 1945. Only days after their wedding, Jack and Kay were sent to a Navy base in Norman, Oklahoma, so Jack could complete his Internal Medicine residency. It is here they had their first son, John Jr., who would become the first of eight children. After the completion of his medical residency in 1947 they moved to Los Angeles area to be closer to Kay’s sister Marguerite and to start up Jack’s new Internal Medical practice. Jack was honorably
discharged from the Navy in January 1955.

Jack and Kay loved to travel in their spare time. “We traveled to Europe and Hawaii, many times,” says Kay. Many of these trips were cruises. “We took cruises to Alaska, along the Mississippi River, many to the Caribbean, and even through the Panama Canal, always accompanied by family or friends.” Their greatest memory was a trip aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) in 1994. Her beloved Jack died in February 2000.

“She loves to talk with people, was always so interested in what they were doing and just about themselves,” says Barbara. “So, when Mom moved from southern California into our home in Napa in 2017 we wanted to make sure she found a connection to her new community, something to be involved in, and a fun reason to get out of the house.”

Despite challenges due to the COVID-19, Collabria Care’s MindBoosters program has continued to provide Kay ways to stay in touch through social networking and Zoom conferencing. “It not only enriches her social, mental, physical and cognitive skills,” says Barbara, “but most importantly, offers the opportunity to socialize, reminisce, and laugh with friends, just as did when she was younger. She greatly enjoys being actively involved in the program and looks forward to the day they can all get together again in person.”

Is Mind Boosters Right for My Loved One or Me?

Mind Boosters is for people who may be in the early stages of memory loss and want to be proactive in maintaining their
brain health.

Mind Boosters offers:
• Techniques to enhance memory
• Activities that offer mental stimulation and socialization
• Learning tools and techniques to assist with daily living
• Physical activities and exercise
• Support and encouragement

To learn more contact Sami Rogers, MSW, at 707.258.9087

“The brain, like the rest of the body, needs to be worked to stay healthy as we age,” says Program Manager Veronna Ladd. “And just like your body, one type of exercise isn’t going to keep you in optimum health, so we address socialization, cognitive stimulation, exercise, nutrition, and spirituality, which includes mindfulness and positive thinking.”