Lenbrook, a bustling senior living community in Buckhead, will join with hundreds of senior living communities around the world to recognize Active Aging Week Sept. 22-28.
Sponsored by the International Council on Active Aging, the National Council on Aging and other senior service providers, active aging is the philosophy that people can live life to its fullest at every age and can optimize their physical, social and mental well-being throughout their lives.
“Active aging is a daily mindset and lifestyle choice here among our residents,” said Kasey Partus, Lenbrook’s fitness manager. “We like to emphasize the importance of this choice with special activities during Active Aging Week.” Partus manages a fitness program that includes 20 fitness classes a week, offering everything from Pilates and yoga to land and water aerobics. She also conducts a 4-week brain fitness course periodically throughout the year that engages participants in a wide range of sensory, physical and mental exercises designed to improve memory and movement.
Joyce Jensen, immediate past chairman of Lenbrook’s resident wellness committee, is one of Lenbrook’s most ardent believers in active aging. A trim, petite woman, Jensen works out five to six days a week in the fitness center and makes it a habit to eat fish three to four times a week in Lenbrook’s three restaurants. “I never liked cooking fish, but I love to eat it,” Jensen said. “The trout here is absolutely delightful,” she said.
Mary Howe (89), a gregarious grandmother to nine and great grandmother to one, is another prime example. She attends aerobics three days a week and often walks a mile in the plaza gardens afterwards with a friend. “I love butter pecan ice cream,” she said. “I figure if I keep doing the aerobics, I can eat desert.” She also loves to dance and is a regular at Lenbrook’s Saturday tea dances.
Jeane Withorn, another Lenbrook dancing fan and long-time golfer, enjoys the Tour de Dance class taught monthly by a local professional dancer. “We learn different dances from all around the world. One time the instructor brought little sashes for us to wear and tried to teach us belly dancing. The two men that attended that class never came back,” she recalled with a chuckle.
Resident Jim Cochrane (72) prefers swimming, Pilates, and the treadmill and weights in the Lenbrook weight room. For Cochrane, the results he’s experienced keep him motivated. In the four years he’s been working out at Lenbrook since moving there with his wife, he’s brought his heart rate and cholesterol down so low that he’s been able to stop taking the strongest of his medicines. “My doctor says there’s no doubt it’s the exercise. I still can’t quite keep up with my grandchildren (7, 9 and 12), but I do a lot better than I used to,” he said.
The week-long Active Aging celebration at Lenbrook this year will include dancing exhibitions, tailgate toss games in the plaza gardens, “brain food” tastings created by Lenbrook’s dietician and head chef, a presentation on the role of humor in healthy aging, a program by the local Alzheimer’s Association, and an expo showcasing volunteer opportunities both inside and outside the Lenbrook community.
“The active-aging philosophy celebrates older adults as full participants in the cultural, civic and personal areas of life,” said Colin Milner, CEO of International Council on Active Aging. “Active Aging Week is the time to appreciate their accomplishments on a national scale, while providing many opportunities to learn more about healthy, active living,” he said. The ICAA has identified seven key dimensions of wellness that comprise the active aging lifestyle: physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, vocational, emotional and environmental.
That’s why Lenbrook’s enrichment program extends well beyond its fitness center offerings to include a meditation room, a full-time chaplain on staff, multiple-faith services on-site weekly, volunteerism activities, book clubs, current events study groups, card game tournaments, computer classes, dance lessons, field trips, in-house art shows, monthly concerts and more – for a total of 200 events and activities every month.
Science and medicine continue to prove that active aging pays off. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control demonstrate it’s possible to add 10 to 12 years to your life by delaying a disability such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes through 1) not smoking and 2) exercising and following proper nutrition.
For more information about the ways Lenbrook helps its residents live life to the fullest, please visit www.lenbrook-atlanta.org or call 404-233-3000.
About Lenbrook (www.lenbrook-atlanta.org)
Lenbrook is the first and only continuing care retirement community in Atlanta to achieve national accreditation by CARF-CCAC. Founded in 1983 and doubling its size in 2008, this not-for-profit senior living community in Buckhead enables its residents to enjoy the gifts of independence, good health and personal fulfillment through engaging programs and services. Its award-winning facilities also offer the security and convenience of excellent on-site health services for all levels of senior healthcare needs. Visit www.lenbrook-atlanta.org or call 404-233-3000 for more information.