Meet the Founder

It has been my life's work to care for seniors - especially those living with dementia. I have done so as an LPN/Gerontology Specialist for over 25 years in a variety of settings including long term care, assisted living, and hospice. I have held positions as a direct care nurse, Skilled Nursing and Rehab Admissions Director, Community Relations Representative, Volunteer Coordinator, and Assisted Living Community Executive Director. In addition to my nursing credentials I have also earned several professional designations (see below) In 2010, I was honored to be recognized as a Dementia Specialist by the South Carolina Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging. Most recently I became a Certified Dementia Practioner.

As I worked in the local nursing field I recognized a void that was not being filled for some seniors. That void was a purposeful place where seniors who were experiencing decline related to advanced age, physical frailty, or dementia could improve their wellness while socializing with peers.

In January 2013, after several years of planning, I opened Aiken Active Seniors to fill that void. Although a licensed adult day program, I created a unique social model that quickly yielded excellent healthcare results. Based on the positive outcomes of the members of Aiken Active Seniors, I continued my research and developed a recreational program that focused on maintaining and improving my members’ cognitive status.

In 2015 Aiken Active Seniors, was recognized as a Small Business Champion by SAMS Club and SCORE in a national competition and was also named the Small Business Success Story of the Year by SCORE. In January 2016, Aiken Active Seniors was also named the 2015 Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year. In January of 2018, Aiken Active Seniors changed its program model to specialize in assisting seniors with advanced dementia to live their best life by focusing on remaining abilities instead of addressing only their physical care needs.

In 2016 I began working closely with SC Lieutenant Governor Kevin Bryant, State Senator Tom Young, and the health care leadership at DHEC to develop another unique business model. In March of 2018 I opened the first of its kind senior activity center called Club Thrive. To date, Club Thrive is the only activity center in the nation that is 100% dementia-friendly. Its programs are specifically designed for seniors who are experiencing early to moderate cognitive changes. There I continued my mission to help seniors with brain changes fight their disease by utilizing science-based, nonmedical interventions to prevent brain changes from dramatically altering their quality of life. Club Thrive won the 2020 People's Choice Award for Senior Day Services right before it was forced to close due to COVID-19.

I am also very engaged in my local community and serve on several Boards and Commissions including the Board of Directors for the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Aiken, and Adult Day Services of SC. I also serve on the Aiken County Goodwill Advisory Board and the Foundation Board of Trustees for both Aiken Technical College and the Rotary Club of Aiken. I am also currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Senior Commission for the City of Aiken.

Brain Stim is a cumulation of the strategies that have yielded successful outcomes in my local programs, the knowledge I have gained through my professional career, and the current research and recommendations of other professionals.

Through your subscription to Brain Stim you have chosen to proactively provide the person you care about with consistent, science-backed activities and protocols to give them the cognitive stimulation and emotional support their brain needs to slow the process of decline.

Through the guidance of the Brain Stim Cognitive Engagement Program and your efforts to engage them in the program on a consistent basis, you have the power to change the course of their brain disease and your journey as a care provider.

Because you have said, I choose to take back control” you are giving your loved one a chance to combat the effects of the cognitive disease so your family can enjoy life together longer. 

Thank you for allowing Brain Stim to be your guide.

I am honored to be in the fight with you.

- Karen

 

Other Professional Designations

Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner

Certified Cognitive Behavior Life Coach

Certified Rational Emotive Behavioral Mindset Life Coach

Certified Mindfulness Practitioner

Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner

Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Life Coach

Certified Senior Fitness Instructor

Certified Yoga Instructor