We’ve all heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it.” For older adults at Liberty Lutheran’s senior communities, there’s good news about staying strong at any age. Liberty Lifestyles is an innovative wellness program, designed to keep residents in Independent Living, Personal Care and Nursing as active and independent as possible.
As we grow older, the simple movements of everyday life may become more difficult and present challenges to even the most active among us. Dr. Gina Formica, Liberty’s Director of Wellness, who developed Liberty Lifestyles, explains, “As we age, we lose lean muscle. It’s a slow process, but over time seniors realize that they just aren’t as strong as they used to be, and simples tasks like reaching above your head is harder. For others it might be painful.”
Dr. Formica’s wellness program was recently awarded $60,000 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Foundation, to help support more than 900 residents in Liberty’s four senior communities. Part of the grant will also be used to replicate the wellness program as a model for Lutheran Services in America (LSA) and ELCA affiliated organizations throughout the country.
Seeing the Benefits
Alla Orlovskaya, Paul’s Run Community Life staff, is seeing how important it is to motivate and encourage residents to exercise their bodies and minds every day. She says, “When I first started Liberty Lifestyles many residents were not able to throw a ball over their head. Now, most of them can, which means that they are more independent, and are able to do the things we take for granted, like getting dressed or combing their hair.”
Artman’s Sally Spear, has witnessed some incredible improvements in class participants over the past year. “For some residents this is the first time they have ever been a part of an exercise class,” she says. “It’s about helping them get comfortable with the idea, and understanding the benefits they will have in their everyday life.”
“When a resident can move better, their confidence improves,” says Suzanne L, who works with skilled nursing residents at Artman. “I have the opportunity to witness them strengthen their bodies and their spirits. It’s amazing.”
To learn more about Liberty Lifestyles, contact Dr. Gina Formica at [email protected] or 215-643-9908
About Liberty Lutheran
Incorporated in 2001 and headquartered in Ambler, Pa., Liberty Lutheran, with locations across Pennsylvania and combined service history of 300 years, faithfully provides vital resources to more than 61,000 individuals and families facing life-changing situations. These individualized services include independent and personal care, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, hospice care, in-home supports, wellness services, children and family services, integration services for immigrants and political refugees and disaster response. Liberty Lutheran’s team of dedicated employees serves individuals and families through their family of services in Pennsylvania, including Artman, Paul’s Run Retirement Community, Liberty at Home, Liberty Hospice, Lutheran Children and Family Services, Lutheran Congregational Services, The Hearth at Drexel (formerly Mary J. Drexel,) and The Village at Penn State. www.libertylutheran.org