Michael Ciamarra on Checkmating Alzheimer's
May 2, 2014
Michael Ciamarra wrote an inspiring article for Al.com (Alabama newsource) on possible positive effects of chess on preventing Alzheimer's as well as specific tips on teaching chess to older adults.

Kevrick, a 70-year old former Marine who had once been a guard at an American Embassy, was  experiencing symptoms of memory loss and confusion associated with the early onset of Alzheimer’s.  He also had vision problems and needed to learn a whole range of new skills in a low-vision/blind rehabilitation program.

“I never learned to play chess and really had no interest,” he said.  “If learning a new activity like chess can postpone mental decline and possibly improve the health of my brain – why not!”

Kevrick not only learned to play chess but also became an enthusiastic ambassador for the game sharing his new found passion with other seniors.

Most importantly, the former Marine genuinely believes it has made a difference in his life by keeping his brain active and vibrant.  With modest exercise, a healthier diet and keeping his brain strong by mental workouts through chess, Kevrick has slowed down considerably the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Ciamarra also listed pointers on how to teach mindsports to older adults, including bringing a variety of chess sets,  cheerful repetition, and using colorful stories to engage and maintain interest. See the full story here and an earlier piece by Ciamarra on Alzheimer's and chess.

Find Ciamarra's CLO piece on National Chess Day in Alabama here and follow him on twitter here.