ABOUT THE BRAINFLEX SYSTEM WORKBOOKS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa began working with seniors in 2009, as the director of an director of an adult day program in Michigan. After moving to Orlando in 2010, she continued working in the senior care industry as a consultant, advising seniors in need of assistance in the home. Eventually, with a desire to improve the quality of care her clients received, she moved into Human Resources where she focused on recruiting caregivers who had a heart for seniors. As the Director of Human Resources, Melissa also focused on agency compliance related to AHCA and Joint Commission regulations as well as state and federal labor laws. In addition, Melissa provided on-going training for employees and education for the families of her clients. After restructuring this part of the business, Melissa was offered the position of Director of Operations, where she focused on aligning the systems and process within the business in order to provide the very best customer and employee experience. The next step for Melissa was the position of 'Executive Director', which included oversight of the Nursing Department, Human Resources, Operations, and 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. In August of 2018, Melissa made the difficult decision to resign as Executive Director of Senior Helpers in order to focus on BrainFlex Wellness Club, which she had founded in 2015. The idea for BrainFlex began in 2014, when Melissa noticed an increase in seniors experiencing dementia. It was at this time, she became a researcher of researchers, determined to find the various ways in which seniors could be proactive against age-related diseases. Her research consistently revealed the following key areas: exercise, nutrition, brain stimulating activities, social connections, prayer/meditation and sleep, as well as stress management and maintaining a positive mindset. Once Covid-19 hit the world, Melissa began to pivot her business, offering BrainFlex sessions on-line while moving the curriculum into a series of workbooks, now referred to as The BrainFlex System. Each of the three workbook series' are designed for a specific cognitive level, with a focus on engaging the 'whole person'. Many doctors and healthcare professionals strongly encourage their patients and clients to utilize the BrainFlex system, and now we're excited to make our interactive workbooks available to seniors everywhere.
Melissa has a degree in Counseling and attended Southeastern University for her post graduate studies in Human Services. She is a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner and a Certified Life Coach, with a focus on 'Resilience Coaching for Seniors’. Melissa is also certified in the areas of Senior Fitness and Nutrition Education. Her experience in the senior health care industry, along with her extensive research in the area of brain health and wellness, makes ‘The BrainFlex System’ a creditable resource for those who are determined to age well.
A NOTE FROM 'HEALTH FIRST' AGING SERVICES
My name is Pat DeAngelis and I am an RN, Licensed Nutrition Counselor and Patient/ Caregiver Educator for Health First Inc. of Melbourne, Fl. I recently finished a five-week workshop for persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment using Workbook One of Early- Mild Series of the BrainFlex System. This was our first workshop using the BrainFlex system as an adjunct resource to provide continuity and continuous stimulation between group sessions. Our group averaged around twenty each week and met weekly, focusing on two lessons each week from the workbook along with emphasis on one ‘Healthy Lifestyle Habit’ each week. A few exercises from the workbook were addressed as a group interaction activity during the two-hour session, however most of the exercises were reviewed and assigned for individual attention during the week at home. Physical Exercise, meditation, affirmations, action planning and journaling from the workbook were addressed each week.
The general feedback regarding the workbook was very positive. Several family members and friends of the MCI participants bought books for themselves and shared that they did see significant improvement in self-motivation, interest and focus from their loved ones. Some participants reported that, although they were overwhelmed with the various activities at the beginning, with encouragement and no pressure to finish every lesson each week, they did find accomplishments quite satisfying. I encouraged doing some activity daily and going back to do more or review as a good resource of brain stimulation after the workshop was completed.
As an educator I feel the workbook series is definitely a creditable resource to use as an interactive tool and provides the necessary activity for individuals to continue to implement the learned material into their daily lifestyle. Research has shown that developing and maintaining ‘Healthy Lifestyle Habits’ in all the areas addressed in the workbook series is extremely beneficial in managing and/or preventing all forms of Dementia.
Thank you, Melissa for all your research and professional knowledge that is demonstrated in your BrainFlex Series workbooks. Your work is extensive and a major community education resource for gaining and maintaining a healthy brain. Recent research has shown that with continuous attention to exercise, both physical and mental exercise, the brain can repair or bypass damaged areas of the brain to maintain desired functions for increased periods of time.
Pat DeAngelis RN, LNC
Caregiver Educator at Health First Aging Services Center For Family Caregivers.