Fitness Programs with a Difference
When you walk down Main Street in any one of our Villages, you will see lots of activity in our exercise and fitness centres. That’s because all of our Villages participate in the Functional Abilities Program. This innovative research and intervention program was founded in 1995.
Our full-time on-site kinesiologists assess each resident for strength, mobility, flexibility, balance and cognition in consultation with the Neurobehavioural Assessment and Rehabilitation Program at the University of Waterloo. These assessments help us create an individualized activity and care plan designed to maximize functional independence. Usually, this includes one-on-one as well as group exercise and activity programs. This program has been recognized as a leading practice by the Canadian Council of Health Services Accreditation (now Accreditation Canada).
Our kinesiologists have many stories they have shared about the power of this program to enhance the lives of our residents. This is one such story, told by Katherine Kellner, Kinesiologist at the Village of Riverside Glen.
Earl Barber is a charismatic, fun-loving gentleman who lives on our Assisted Care Floor. Earl is able to walk, however he usually relies on his wheelchair for mobility. A few months ago, Earl’s daughter Sharlene approached us with a special request. She was getting married in January and wanted her father to walk her down the aisle.
Inspired by her (and Earl’s) enthusiasm, we worked to help Earl grant his daughter’s wish. With an ambitious attitude, and eager not to let his daughter down, Earl practiced his walking week by week and increased the length he could walk.Taking the task one step further, we incorporated simple dance steps to Earl’s one-on-one programming, in hopes he might be able to not only walk his daughter down the aisle, but also dance the father and daughter dance at the reception.
We accompanied a nervous Earl on the day of the wedding. When the ceremony began, Earl shocked friends, family, and the entire wedding party by walking his daughter down the aisle. From the expression on everyone’s faces, those moments would be the highlight of the wedding. Sharlene’s face showed just how overjoyed and proud she was of her father. Later on, the wedding guests grew quiet and tearful as Sharlene and Earl took to the dance floor.
Earl’s motivation. A research-informed program. Skilled and enthusiastic staff. When these things come together, as they so often do in the Functional Abilities Program, the results can be truly amazing.