WRITTEN BY BY KAREN L. CHANDLER
Keystone Villa seniors are being inspired toward greater health and happiness through a new wellness program. Laura Blatt, a Keystone Villa Douglassville, Amity Township, personal care resident since February 2017, said: “It got me up and moving. It kept me thinking about activities. It was something to look forward to.” The Well-Being Workout was rolled out in a pilot program that ended with a celebration at Keystone Villa's Independent Living building in Amity Township early last month. Residents who participated were awarded certificates and shared their experiences at the closing ceremonies. The initiative came about through a connection between football Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure of the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns from 1973 to 1985, and Ellen Belk, the National Director of Community Lifestyle and Memory Support of the nationally known Milestone Retirement Communities. DeLamielleure and his son, Todd, a college football player and certified fitness professional, started Hall of Fame Solutions, a fitness endeavor encouraging the use of accessible and adaptable circular resistance bands for not only youth and college football players' workouts but also for seniors. The DeLamielleures attended the closing ceremonies and interacted with the participants of the program.
The collaboration between the DeLamielleures and Milestone Retirement resulted in the Well-Being Workout, a three-part program that was piloted three days a week during a 12-week period, involving 30 independent and personal care residents from the Keystone Villa communities in Amity Township and Ephrata. Belk explained that the Keystone Villa personal care and independent living sites, both under the Milestone umbrella, were chosen to pilot the program because of their strong leadership, activity and rehabilitation support staffs. “It's an extremely innovative program,” said Amy Purcell, Milestone's regional director of sales and marketing. “We appreciated the enthusiasm of residents to jump into this with both feet, and show progress to meet their goals.” The workout brings about a 60-minute interaction of body, mind and spirit, starting with 30 minutes of exercise using the circular resistant bands for multiple types of exercise for upper and lower body, customizable for different ability levels. Purcell explained that the Keystone lifestyle and leisure directors were all professionally trained by Todd DeLamielleure to administer the multifaceted program. Program participant Eliza Drain, a personal care resident at Keystone Villa, Amity Township, since August 2017, said: “It was accessible for an older person. I felt like I had more endurance. I felt better.”
Welcome physical boost
Diana Kramer, executive director of personal care, agrees the Well-Being Workout brought about a welcome physical boost for the residents. “They were able to lift their arms higher, and they were able to lift their legs higher,” Kramer said. “On average, there was a 98 percent increase.” Cognitive challenges, including trivia games and simple memory questions, follow the physical exercise and engage Well-Being workout participants for about 15 minutes. The hourlong program wrapped up with a healthy snack and social time, according to Kramer. Not only did the seniors have multiple activities to anticipate throughout the week, Drain said she got to know some people in her community whom she had not met before she engaged in the program. “They supported each other,” said Sue Seanor, executive director of independent living. “They found a common ground.”
Increase in cognition
Seanor confirms that the executive directors of Keystone Villa Douglassville and Ephrata did pre- and post-cognitive screenings on the program participants. She said there was an overall slight increase in cognition in just 12 weeks. And the benefits are not ending for Keystone Villa residents with the end of the Well-Being Workout test pilot. “The residents are continuing with the program,” Seanor said.“It's something that appears on the activity schedule.” And Milestone Retirement is planning to expand the Well-Being Workout throughout its senior living communities beginning next year. Seven communities are in Pennsylvania and include the Keystone Villa locations. They join about 100 nationally, according to Chris Henderson, regional director of operations. Belk of Milestone said the key to the national success of the workout will be a strong connection among Milestone sales and activity staffs and the public. Marketing the promising new wellness program is a benefit toward drawing prospective residents and their families to Keystone Villa, Seanor said.
December 4, 2018