This story was written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the diverse array of offerings at The Hearth at Drexel during normal times.
At The Hearth at Drexel, the sound of cheering rings through the Inspiring Today household, which is home to the community’s memory care residents. The excitement grows as each resident takes a turn to participate in the neighborhood basketball program.
As they shoot the ball, the support each resident receives from their neighbors and staff increases, their confidence grows, and they make progress to improve their overall wellbeing.
“We incorporated adaptive sports games into our activities, knowing that they would provide a variety of benefits. One of the most popular is a balloon-bop program, where residents attempt to keep a balloon in the air while counting the number of times they touch it,” Jessica Buck, director of community life shares. “We recently added the basketball program to grow on that success, and because we know that there would be even more added benefits since residents will be targeting a small hoop at a distance.”
Simple activities, such as throwing a basketball have shown to improve functions that are important for activities of daily living. For instance, while it may be simple enough for many to shoot a basketball, the exercise presents important benefits to older adults who may need assistance with activities such as showering or eating. Since the program was added, residents feel better about themselves. They are forming bonds with their neighbors and building relationships.
There’s an incredible feeling when we bring out the basketball hoop. Residents perk up and start talking about their experiences, whether they played basketball or another sport when they were younger. They become expressive and start conversations with each other and the staff.Jessica Buck, director of community life at The Hearth at Drexel
Georgyn, an Inspiring Today resident shares her experience, “I like the basketball program because I’m good at it, and I feel good when I make the shots,” she says. “It’s nice talking with my neighbors. Sometimes, we talk about basketball games that we saw on TV.”
For many residents, shooting a basketball brings back a feeling of youthful exuberance. Tom shares, “I used to play basketball when I was younger, so I liked when they started the program,” he says.
It’s nice having things to do like this because it makes us feel good.Tom, memory care resident at The Hearth at Drexel
As each program concludes, staff members line up in front of the residents, shaking each one’s hand, “Congratulations,” they say to each smiling face. “You’ve made the team!”