Together Senior Health helps people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to increase cognitive and physical function, improve quality of life, and delay loss of independence. We bring science and support together to make meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and families struggling with cognitive decline.
Our unique and evidence-based program combines activity, mindfulness, social elements and online support. It is based on the PLIÉ program (Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise) at UCSF and the VA, which is demonstrating improvements in physical and cognitive function in early clinical studies.
Cynthia Benjamin, a Stanford Lecturer in Designing for Impact and Innovation Forecasting, leads our human centered design process. Cynthia brings years of business and innovation consulting, with expertise in healthcare and social impact.
Dr. Deborah Barnes is an internationally recognized expert in dementia risk assessment and prediction, and serves and an advisor to Together. She and her team at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center have created the pioneering PLIÉ program based on years of research and their published work.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are devastating and costly conditions that slowly rob people of their ability to think and function independently, and current pharmaceutical treatments do not stop or slow the disease. There is a critical need for new strategies like Together to prevent Alzheimer’s from developing and to slow disease progression.
Pilot studies for individuals with mild to moderate dementia are showing evidence of functional improvements across a wide range of positive outcomes compared to a control group. In addition, Paired PLIÉ studies are underway and showing meaningful improvements in physical, cognitive and social/emotional benefits and reduction of caregiver burden. See our RESEARCH page for lots more information.
We are teaching a limited number of classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our current Veterans Administration Innovation Grant will extend services to more VA clinics and additional adult day health centers. Send us an email and let us know your town - we'll get back to you when we can offer a class in your area!
Together is focused on bringing our programs to more seniors who need it, through expansion of community-based classes and addition of online support tools. Dr. Barnes has several ongoing clinical trials, with grants from the Alzheimer's Association and the VA Innovators Network. Together is a member of QB3, the University of California’s hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in the life sciences.
Click on a file to download.
We are excited to announce our recent NIH grant to explore online programming for people with memory loss. Watch this space for more information, or reach out to us if you'd like to provide input or feedback on this fun project!
Dr. Barnes and her team at UCSF continue to study the impact of PLIÉ and Paired PLIÉ in community-based classes and in senior living facilities.
Barnes DE, Yaffe K, Belfor N, Jagust WJ, DeCarli C, Reed BR, Kramer JH. Computer-based cognitive training for mild cognitive impairment: Results from a pilot randomized, controlled trial. Alzheimers Dis Assoc Disord 2009;23:205-210.
Barnes DE, Santos-Modesitt W, Poelke G, Kramer AF, Castro C, Middleton LE, Yaffe K. The Mental Activity and eXercise (MAX) Trial: A randomized, controlled trial to enhance cognitive function in older adults. JAMA Intern Med 2013; 173 :797-804. c. Wu E,
Barnes DE, Ackerman SL, Lee J, Chesney M, Mehling WE. Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ): qualitative analysis of a clinical trial in older adults with dementia. Aging Ment Health. 2014 Jul 14; 1-10. PMID: 25022459.
Barnes DE, Mehling W, Wu E, Beristianos M, Yaffe K, Skultety K, Chesney MA. Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ): A pilot clinical trial in older adults with dementia. PLoS ONE 2015; 10(2): e0113367. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0113367.