NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – As we age, it is normal to experience some degree of mental decline, but there are ways to help manage these changes.  Joining Connecticut’s Morning Buzz Host Natasha Lubczenko in the studio today, from the Hospital for Special Care/Center for Cognitive Health, is Co-Director Doctor Anthony Rinaldi, Psy.D, ABPP-CNNeuropsychologist and Sarah Heath, OTR/L Occupational Therapist.

Dr. Rinaldi talks about what really happens to our brains as we age. He says, “As we grow older, our brains do change a little bit. Just, kind of like our bodies do. And so things aren’t functioning quite as well as they used to. Things get a little bit slower. We do get a little bit more forgetful and some of that is very normal.” “For some people though, they experience these changes to a greater degree, and so they’re having a little bit more forgetfulness, a little bit more difficulty with their word finding, or navigating around their environment.” “And so that’s usually when there are concerns that would lead a person to want to come to see someone at HFSC, perhaps for an evaluation.”

The Hospital uses a team-based approach to treat people with cognitive issues. Sara speaks about how her work as an Occupational Therapist fits in with other specialists at HFSC. “We are a very multidisciplinary team at the hospital and so when we see our patients, we really look at them as the whole person, and who they are, and what their specific needs are. And, we work together as that team . . .  to really look at them and treat whatever it is that they specifically need in their lives, and their families.”

Watch the full interview above to learn more about some of the tools and therapies that the Center for Cognitive Health team uses to evaluate patients’ baseline capabilities, and set goals toward improvement and independence. Sarah and Dr. Rinaldi answer the following questions:

  • How is your Driving Simulator used to help patients?
  • Describe the variety of populations that you are working with when using
    the Driving Simulator.
  • How successful has this technology been in helping patients to maximize their
  • What activities do you recommend to our viewers to help keep our brains healthy?

To learn more about the services available at the Hospital for Special Care-The Center for Cognitive Health, visit their website at: