Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors members are generally a healthy lot. The average age of our group is well over 85 years and we are very active. Along with book club, choir and ukulele group, visiting programs, and jobs we do for the Creston Valley Gleaners Society and Meals on Wheels, we participate in physical activity programs, too. On Tuesday afternoons we do Tai Chi, led by Judy and Barry Freeman. Judy and Barry have been instructing Tai Chi at TAPS for over 10 years and show no signs of stopping. They greet each member with a hug and sincere questions about their health. This weekly ritual assists participating seniors with breathing, balance, circulation and mobility.
Water aerobics and enjoying the steam room and hot tub are weekly highlights for several TAPS women. If this activity is cancelled for some reason, TAPS staff hear complaints until the next Wednesday rolls around. Mary, a 92-year-old swimmer, proudly modelled her new bathing suit on the first Wednesday in January. “This is a Christmas gift from my daughters,” Mary bragged. She has lots to be proud of. Mary and Verna, another dedicated swimmer, each have personal routines they follow in the pool. They walk through the lazy river a prescribed number of times in each direction, trace a specific path around the shallow pool and have designated places to sit in the hot tub. This activity is essential to their well-being.
The indoor track at the Creston and District Community Complex is our hangout on Thursday morning. Six seniors use the track to improve their balance, aerobic well-being, strength and stamina. The track is a safe place to walk in all seasons and seniors feel welcome and comfortable there.
These activities keep us physically well but have many other advantages too. Our visits to the community complex let us mix with young families, we are exposed to seasonal festivities that are going on and we often see friends and neighbors we have not seen for a long time.
Because many of the TAPS seniors are over 85 years of age, they do not have to pay the activity fee, a real benefit for seniors. There are other expenses to participating in these activities, though. The Creston Valley Aquatic Society has generously offered to support transportation and staff costs for the next 10 months so that seniors will continue to be physically healthy and connected to their community. Thank you to the Creston Valley Aquatic Society for their support of seniors in our community.
If you feel that you, or someone you care for, needs gentle support to access these activities contact TAPS at 250-428-5585. Maybe we can help.
Terry Nowak is an outreach worker with Creston’s Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.