“Step into Wellness” program promotes fitness and fun
By Tawnya Rohde, Director of Sales and Marketing–Independent Living
A recently released Age Well Study conducted by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging in partnership with Northwestern University gathered data from 80 Life Plan Communities, including Dallas Retirement Village. It was exciting to see that DRV residents ranked higher than average for mood, spirituality, and frequency of volunteering, said Hilary Boyce, campus director of life enrichment since January. However, the results also showed that DRV residents who participated in the study felt that their physical wellness declined after moving to the community. That got Boyce’s wheels turning. “What if we instituted a program to increase physical activity?”
At a community town hall meeting, Boyce set out 10 glass vases labeled with activities such as walking tours, dancing at parties, winery tours and such. Residents “voted” on the top four areas of interest. “Walking tours was the clear number one,” said Boyce. “So, I thought, let’s start something for spring!”
“Spring into Wellness” takes shape.
Boyce got together with Elisa Moore, DRV wellness leader, and created “Spring into Wellness”—a 13-week program running from March 21 to June 21, 2019. The idea is to encourage wellness throughout the spring season at DRV—helping active, independent residents thrive and have fun.
Residents participating in the program receive punches on a “Spring into Wellness” card for activities such as:
- Completing the weekly walking map
- Participating in a wellness activity
- Joining neighbors for “Walking with Hilary” on Wednesdays
- Attending a “Spring into Wellness” Gathering on Thursdays
- Working out in the Wellness Center or at home
- Choosing a heart-healthy meal
- … or any of a long list of other activities
The goal is to collect as many punches as possible during the 13 weeks—with prizes awarded at the end of the program.
“It’s exciting the way residents are embracing this program,” reports Boyce. “We’ve had 30 to 40 residents join us every Thursday for the ‘Spring into Wellness’ Gathering.” One of the gatherings featured a presentation on healthy smoothies, with complimentary samples and a raffle for blenders to take home so residents can make their own smoothies. Other presentations included the DRV Director of Rehabilitation speaking about exercise over age 50, and a nutritionist explaining how to choose a nutritious and delicious meal.
Getting fit for a 5k walk.
To celebrate residents’ success with “Spring into Wellness,” the program will culminate with a DRV team of residents and staff participating in the Summer Solstice 5k walk at Minto Park in Salem on June 21. This popular summer event features flat trails along the Willamette River, with ice cream sundaes at the finish line.
“We have one 94-year-old who walks with us every day, and is going to do the 5k with us,” says Boyce. “Our idea is to jumpstart this program, and then let people take off with it—continuing with their walking group and participating in 5k events.”
Programs will change with the seasons.
Boyce likes to work seasonally with activity programs because people get emotionally attached to seasonal activities—which in turn creates more involvement. For summer, she’s planning a campus-wide “county fair” event in August that will feature quilts, woodworking, games, petting zoo, dunk tank, food booths and more.
It’s all part of DRV’s commitment to staying current with the evolving trends of active seniors. For example, the community recently introduced residents to PiYo—a form of exercise that combines elements of yoga and Pilates. Residents love this fun, low-impact exercise. Plus, the community continues to create opportunities for residents to learn about health and wellness, and to incorporate those principles into everyday life at DRV.
Call (503) 623-9211 for more information about “Spring into Wellness” and other wellness programs at Dallas Retirement Village, or to schedule a tour of our community.