Melissa first fell in love with seniors while directing a large adult day program in Michigan. When her husband was transferred to Orlando in late 2010, she began looking for an opportunity to do what fulfilled her the most, which was working with seniors. Melissa joined Senior Helpers in the summer of 2011 helping seniors accept their need for assistance. Eventually, with a desire to improve the quality of care her clients received, she moved into Human Resources where she focused on recruitment and agency compliancy related to AHCA and Joint Commission regulations as well as state and federal labor laws. Melissa also provided on-going training for employees and education for the families of her clients. She went on to become the Executive Director for Senior Helpers/Orlando, which included oversight of the Nursing Department, Human Resources, Operations, and the training and development of the Sales and Marketing team. As Executive Director, Melissa led a team of directors with a focus on business development while remaining intentional in her mission to invest in the lives of her employees.
After unexpectedly losing her father in January of 2015, she found herself looking for answers… wanting to know both, why and how this had happened so suddenly. She also found herself repeating the same statement frequently, "I thought I had more time."
After this, Melissa added another line to her personal statement, “Find ways in which I can give people more time with their aging parents.”
The idea for BrainFlex had been brewing in the back of Melissa’s mind since October of 2014 when she noticed a ‘gap’ in the health care industry for seniors who had a preventative mindset and wished to be more proactive as well as for those in the mild to moderate stages of dementia. After this tragic event, she made it her mission to seek out ways in which seniors could prevent age-related diseases and in doing so, prevent or slow down cognitive decline.
Although there are many things that contribute to the diseases that cause dementia, Melissa’s research consistently revealed four key areas in which seniors can be proactive against age related diseases, including those that cause dementia.
The four key areas which allow seniors to improve their journey through the aging process are exercise, nutrition, brain stimulating activities and socialization.
In May of 2016, BrainFlex Wellness Club was opened for business. A non-judgement zone where seniors could engage in all four key concepts in a three-hour session offered five days a week, with testimonies that are both motivating and inspiring.
Once Covid-19 hit the world, Melissa began to pivot her business, offering BrainFlex sessions on-line. In addition, the BrainFlex lessons, which engage the 'whole person', (exercise, nutrition, social connections, & brain training), were put into a workbook format, and mailed to members monthly, as 'THE Aging Well Workbook’ The Interactive Guide to Aging Well, which are now available on Amazon, with a new workbook added each month.
Melissa has worked with geriatric doctors, neurologist, social workers, as well as hospitals and senior living communities, and each healthcare professional has been thrilled with the curriculum provided by BrainFlex.
Melissa has a degree in Counseling, is a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner and a Certified Life Coach, with a focus on 'Resilience Coaching' for seniors and their caregivers, who may be struggling with various challenges related to 'Aging Well'. Melissa also holds a certification in both 'Senior Fitness' and 'Nutrition Education' and is an Ordained Minister.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs and to determine whether making a lifestyle change or decision based on this information is appropriate for you.