NEW YORK – Two Indian American high school students, Anuhya Tadepalli and Poojita Chinmay, from Atlanta, Georgia, have founded a nonprofit organization called Chess for a Cause, to help senior citizens fight age-related ailments like Alzheimer’s.
They visit assisted living facilities in the Atlanta Metropolitan neighborhood to meet with the elderly showing them how to play chess through interactive videos as well as provide them with real-time coaching, in order to avert and relieve them from age-related medical conditions.
As a part of their initiative, Tadepalli and Chinmay are researching on the different types of dementia which the elderly population are most commonly diagnosed with.
“We formed Chess for a Cause in order to bring the benefits of chess to the doorsteps of senior in our community through volunteer work from high school students,” Tadepalli told the Indian Eagle.
The inspiration came from a volunteer visit to a memory care facility in 2016, after which the two of them decided to think of something they could do to help alleviate the discomfort caused to elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other symptoms of dementia and according to the research, mental stimulation provided by chess could help reduce the rate of cognitive decline.
“Chess allows the exercise of both the left and right hemispheres. We learned that it helps with the growth of dendrites, which are extensions of brain neurons, and these neurons help improve overall performance of the brain,” Tadepalli told Patch.
The Chess for a Cause initiative has also won a statewide competition conducted by Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services to recognize innovative movements aimed at assisting senior American citizens and differently able elders and is currently offering its free service to 14 facilities providing healthcare to senior citizens in the Metro Atlanta Area.