Holland Home rolled out a new pilot program to help its residents.
The independent and assisted living organization started its Aging Mastery Program, which is based on lifestyle changes that will potentially allow its residents to age well and live longer lives.
“At Holland Home, our vibrant living team is really interested in keeping up with the trend in healthy aging,” Holland Home Fitness Manager Alisha Van Epps said. “We work to bring evidence-based programs to our community and when I learned about this particular program from the National Council on Aging, it just really aligned with our internal wellness model, which we call Vibrant Living. And one of our Vibrant Living (aspects) is our lifelong living program, which is all about intellectual discovery, so this program, Aging Mastery Program, aligns with that. It is all about celebrating longevity and giving our residents the tools to age well.”
The program, which began in July at Holland Home’s Breton campus, includes 10 courses that are each about 90 minutes long. The courses feature guest speakers from Holland Home and the community. They have covered a variety of topics so far, including healthy eating and hydration, sleep, financial fitness, effective exercise techniques, fall prevention, advance planning, healthy relationships and community engagement.
Van Epps said they’ve had up to 30 residents who’ve attended classes that appeal to them. The residents are in independent living and their ages range from 65 to 90 years old.
‘What I like about this program is that it is not just a lecture,” she said. “It is really engaging as well. Residents are able to ask questions. There are group discussions as well as individual goal setting.”
The fall prevention course presented by Melissa Perta, a physical therapist, covered the importance of fall prevention among older adults and strategies to prevent falling.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest fall data, falls among adults ages 65 and older caused more than 34,000 deaths and 3 million visits to emergency departments in 2019. Medically, falls cost $50 billion annually, according to the CDC.
“(Perta) shared fall safety suggestions for the home and a resident reported back to me that after the class they went right home and corrected the hazard in their home,” Van Epps said. “They let me know that they removed a rug from their bathroom that would slide around the floor, so that was a huge success and just a simple way to prevent falls.”
Along with fall prevention, the exercise topic focused on the importance of aerobics, strength, flexibility and balance as they relate to aging and included strategies for incorporating physical activity into daily routines.
With the educational component of exercise and physical activity emphasized in the Aging Mastery Program, Holland Home is able to provide those activities at all of its campuses. Some activities include tai chi classes, strength training, balance classes and water aerobics classes, among others. The organization also partners with Grand Rapids Ballet, which offers residents weekly ballet classes.
The pilot program will end Oct. 6 with the discussion topic of medication management.
This story can be found in the Oct. 3 issue of the Grand Rapids Business Journal. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here.