-By Joe Harrington, Liberty Lutheran PR Intern
Gina Formica and Jennifer Conway are on a mission to motivate residents at all of Liberty’s senior communities. Formica, Director of the Becoming Center, and Conway, resident and wellness coordinator at the Becoming Center, came up with the “Amazing Race.” Much like the television show, residents “travel” to a different destination each week. The “Amazing Race” is a walking challenge designed to encourage residents to get moving every day. Over the course of four weeks, residents will travel to four different global locations. Residents will “travel” to Italy, the Orient, Mexico and conclude their race with a virtual trip to New York City! Each participating resident is equipped with a passport that is stamped each Friday, if they complete their walking for the week. Residents also enjoy a meal on that Friday inspired by the destination to which they traveled.
“Each resident has a specific program. Whether a resident can walk down the hallway or around the whole campus, the goal is for them to be more active, which is the Liberty Way,” Gina said. “People who had not been walking because of joint pain or other issues have been inspired by the Amazing Race and are now out walking and pushing themselves,” she added.
“Residents are now coming out and walking and staying out for activities, instead of staying in their rooms. The walking is beneficial for their lower body strength and overall mobility,” Jennifer said.
“The program is also a great way for staff to encourage residents to walk to where they need to get, sometimes it is easier to just use the wheelchair, but walking allows the residents to be more independent,” Jennifer added.
Edith-Ann Fortunato, a resident of Artman participating in the Amazing Race, agrees. “I’m up on my feet. It’s wonderful!” Edith said, “I can go where I want when I want. I don’t have to wait for a wheelchair. Walking has made me much more independent,” the 93-year old added.
When Edith arrived at Artman 17 months ago, she came to the Ambler senior community an ambulance because her hip had separated. Through physical therapy and walking almost every day, Edith says she has definitely noticed a difference in her physical and mental health. “I don’t have the hip problem anymore, I’m well enough to fight ya,” Edith joked.
“The Amazing Race is a great example of the changing culture at Liberty,” Jennifer said, “The Liberty Way encourages residents to be as active as possible so they can maintain that independence that they enjoy.”
As exemplified by Edith, the Liberty Way has given her back much of her independence and she loves every minute of it! With Edith’s enthusiasm, coupled with Gina and Jennifer’s encouragement, it’s time for seniors at all of Liberty’s communities to join the Amazing Race.