Our Resolution:  Helping Older Adults to AgeWell

Posted by Elaine Cappucci on December 28, 2016

Typical New Year’s resolutions include exercise, lose weight, learn a new skill, spend less, volunteer more, and spend time with friends.   At AgeWell at the JCC, we have one resolution: To help you with all of those things and more!

We hear daily from seniors who have found a home at the JCC; seniors like Allan.

Allan joined us just two years ago at the urging of his family, though they were not convinced that Allan would stick with prescribed exercise after physical therapy for a knee replacement or socialize with other members following the death of his wife.  They were very wrong!   After getting to know some JCC members, Allan found it comforting that others were going through similar experiences and were looking for ways to adjust to new circumstances, just as he was.

With multiple health issues including a neurological disorder that affects his balance, exercising is not easy for Allan, but the older adult exercise classes gave him the confidence to try new things and to keep his body moving. Now, Allan is consistently exercising three times per week.

And while Allan found socializing with other members at the JCC enjoyable, he wanted more: he wanted the socializing to extend beyond the JCC and he wanted to see people who might be hurting smile a little more.  He says he’ll do most anything to get a smile, and calls himself a “smile junkie.”  One way to meet his goals was to start inviting some folks to lunch after class.   A few casual lunches quickly turned into the tradition of the “First Monday Lunch,” first for his class regulars and later extended to anyone who attends the older adult classes.  It’s a group that smiles a lot!

It was the forging of JCC friendships that helped Allan when he had a fall at home.  When he missed a class, another member phoned Allan to check on him.  After getting no answer all day, she was worried and was able to find his son’s phone number and called to ask him to check on Allan.  He found him, still on the floor unable to get up.  Luckily, after some tests, rest and new alert call button, Allan is doing well and is back to exercising with his smiling friends.

Allan’s story is inspiring, but not unique.  With 24 weekly Older Adult exercise classes in Squirrel Hill and 36 in the South Hills, personal training, heated indoor swimming pools, state-of-the art fitness centers, and certified older adult class instructors and trainers, the JCC offers so many ways to meet everyone’s fitness goals and schedule.

But as Allan has shown us, health and wellness go beyond exercise.  Aside from the new friends you’ll make, we can keep your mind engaged and active as well.   The JCC offers educational speakers and classes, book groups, lunch-and-learn series, volunteer opportunities and lots of fun recreational programs like lunches, dinners and dances. In fact, we even offer a program called Aging Mastery!

If you aren’t yet taking full advantage of your JCC membership, stop in the AgeWell office and let us help you – that’s our healthy New Year’s resolution!

Elaine Cappucci is Health and Wellness Coordinator at the JCC-South Hills.

Do you have a question about AgeWell at the JCC-South Hills? Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you shortly.

 

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