Training the Brain: Drive Adult Engagement With BrainHQ™
Nearly 200 public libraries nationwide are responding to growing concerns from adults and seniors about maintaining brain health by offering BrainHQ, a suite of science-based online brain fitness exercises, to their patrons. With over 840 levels of training organized around the six core cognitive areas of attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, intelligence, and navigation, BrainHQ helps adults think faster, focus better, and remember more. Founded by Posit Science Corporation and brought to public libraries through Demco, BrainHQ exercises are delivered in short segments of two minutes or less, adapting speed and delivery to your performance. A private, personal dashboard assesses your performance and provides suggestions on areas of focus.
Making the Connection: BrainHQ and Increased Cognitive Ability
BrainHQ provides the perfect opportunity for creating many adult programming connections in your community. Groups that can benefit from BrainHQ include seniors, caregivers, athletes, religious centers, non-profits, businesses, schools, teachers, police, and more. Nine out of ten people say brain health is important, but few know how to maintain or improve it. While some libraries already recognize the value of offering BrainHQ to their patrons, they are still seeking ways to gain adoption of the service within their patron base. We’re here to help!
There are many ways libraries can help connect the underserved adult audience with tools that can help them flex their mental muscles. One way to generate buzz for BrainHQ is to host competitions. By challenging and involving school boards, library staff, teen groups, senior centers, or local government, libraries can spread the word about BrainHQ — it’s a go-to approach that works for other library services and it works here, too!
Libraries might also offer an in-house program series, utilizing existing book clubs or other groups to host multi-session “brain health exercises” within the library. Additionally, libraries can take brain health programs out into the community, offering programs within senior centers, non-profit group meetings, clubs, and more (they’ll love to know their local library cares about mental health!).
Tempe Public Library Takes a Hybrid Approach
At the Tempe Public Library, Senior Library Outreach Coordinator Nicolas Escalante is relying on a hybrid approach. His “Exercising My Brain” series, a program focusing on brain health, cognitive improvement and utilizing BrainHQ, is offered in multiple locations: within the library itself, at community centers, other city facilities, and within outside organizations such as Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and the Tempe YMCA. “Technology can sometimes be challenging for seniors, so having a program that walks them through the steps of how to register and answer any questions is very important,” shares Escalante. “By demonstrating how to register and modeling how it works, we are placing the power and ability back in the hand of that person, helping seniors feel independent and an active part of the community.” Remember to keep instructions simple and direct, use a large and easy-to-read font, and present the class at a slower pace so everyone can follow.
Find the Right Community Partners
Try “non-traditional techniques” to engage with the communities you want to serve. Visiting restaurants around community centers and speaking with local clergymen and doctors about the program, libraries may see an increase in enrollment in your BrainHQ programs and usage. Initiating the conversations within your community, you may find that brain health is on everyone’s mind. By providing more of a structured program approach seniors, adults, and all BrainHQ users are actively engaged in conversations about brain health while learning how to maintain and improve their mental abilities.
Engage Your Community with BrainHQ
Libraries offering brain health programming via BrainHQ can provide a desired resource for their patrons while simultaneously building and strengthening community partnerships and connections and increasing adult and senior programming and attendance stats.