Highlights of Active Aging Week Programs

Active Aging Week was full of a variety of programs in all levels of care across the campus. Here are some of the highlights of the week.

We had a Drum Circle led by Kay Lynn Sarkey who is a music therapist. She passed out a variety of drums including bongos and some small and large drums, each one giving out a different sound. She had the residents do a number of sounds on the drums using fingertips, the palm of your hand, the whole hand, brushing the drum and many more techniques. Some she used chanting so residents could beat the drum along with the chant. Then she played music and everyone followed her lead as she used several of the techniques they had learned. Then she had each person say their name and they beat out the sounds of their names on the drum. Everyone is hoping we will have her return soon.

We also did Ballroom Dancing lessons with a dance instructor from Heritage Hall. They have added dancing to their arts program at Heritage and Chelsea Jones is teaching ballet, tap, jazz, and ballroom dancing, so she agreed to lead the residents in some of the classic ballroom dance steps. The residents also want her to return and she said she would. They learned the basic box step individually, then she had them pair off into couples to try it. Some of the “Adopt a Grandparent” kids joined in and assisted Chelsea with the demonstrations. They learned how to turn your partner under your arm while dancing and how to fall back into rhythm. Everyone was dancing to the music at the end of the lesson.

Another program we had last week was “Introduction to Vegan Cooking” with Marco of Heritage Hall. He is a vegan and cooks his own food at home since his mom is not a vegan. He has prepared many meals for our residents in the last three years, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas when they fixed a whole dinner for us (not vegan). His class was at 8:00am in the morning for our early risers who love breakfast. Marco made a Tofu Scramble which has the consistency of scrambled eggs and actually tastes very good. He added a combination of seasonings to sprinkle into the Tofu which gave it a great flavor. The next thing he prepared was vegan pancakes and he asked the residents if they preferred to have blueberries or chocolate chips added…the group was mixed. They turned out light and fluffy and maple syrup was on the table to add to the pancakes. The last dish he fixed was vegan bacon. It has a good flavor and tastes very much like bacon. He was hoping to fix sausage links but he says they are so good that Whole Foods is sold out of them whenever he goes. Residents loved the pancakes and most liked the bacon. The Tofu Scramble was probably an acquired taste, especially for those who love real eggs in the morning. Harvey said since he was in his 90’s, he probably wouldn’t switch to vegan now but he did like the way it tasted.

Another program we had this week was about herbs and how to add them to different dishes. Kim, the speaker, also talked about how to make healthy shakes and even herbal teas. Other events during the week included indoor volleyball with a beach ball, fun photos in costumes with Humanity Hospice (who is making copies of all the pictures to send to families), wheelchair soccer, All About the Brain, Wake up Tai Chi with Kaitlan and Healthy Eating Habits in all buildings. It was a full and fun week…and especially Active!!

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