Researchers at Clemson University are using football to battle the persistent damage brought on by dementia.
Tourism management professor Greg Ramshaw told South Carolina Radio Network that the therapy is a multisensory intervention for memory decline.
“We designed a program based around Clemson’s football history and heritage and used at a local care facility here,” he said. “We’re seeing some great results so far.”
The program uses football history, footage and memorabilia to provide a multisensory intervention for memory decline. “That would prompt a series of memories and a group of discussions,” said Ramshaw.
The research team from Clemson’s parks, recreation and tourism management department recently concluded the program at Brookdale Senior Living Solutions in the nearby town of Central, where they tested the program with several of the facility’s residents.
Ramshaw said the researchers hope to do what they did for Brookdale on a larger scale. By analyzing data and making necessary adjustments to the protocols, they want to make a program like this possible for other teams and other sports in other areas of the country.
He said the feedback they have received so far is encouraging. The researchers hope to better define how sports can be used as an entry point to promote health in people experiencing mental decline.