According to the National Institute of Health, exercise can improve the health of the aging substantially.



According to the National Institute of Health, exercise can improve the health of the aging substantially.

There is even evidence that even moderate exercise can prevent or at least slow down the onset of disease, as well as having a side effect of improving mood.

Our Home at Beacon Hill, a local assisted living facility, is putting that science into action with the help of Kindred Healthcare.

The pair is instituting a program at Our Home that aims at getting residents moving and active.

“Here at Beacon Hill we are very active and we want to keep them as active as they possibly want to be,” said Danielle Dickey, the administrator for Our Home.

The program, Step On It!, challenges residents to get active through competition and group activity.

Residents at Our Home will choose a geographic location to “walk to” and teams will be awarded prizes for most steps and most improved.

Staff at the assisted living facility will track progress through Fitbits, which Kindred Health has provided. Once the entire group reaches their geographic goal than a group party will be thrown.

Kindred have even provided special Fitbits that track movement in wheelchairs and walkers.

Staff at Our Home like that the program is resident driven,

“We just want to see them laugh, talk, enjoy it, and stay walking as long as possible,” said Dickey.

To kick off the program Our Home will host a launch party at 4 p.m, May 19, at their Beacon Hill location.

“We are inviting the community in just to let everybody see our folks aren’t just sitting in a corner playing bingo all the time,” Dickey said.

The administrator also noted that there is always room for members of the community to help and participate.

“Anybody that could, or wants to, or maybe doesn’t know what to do but just wants to be involved; we would love to have them out here,” Dickey said.

According to Dickey, community involvement is the biggest struggle as it pertains to the residents,

“A lot of times they feel disconnected,” said Dickey. “They’re inside a facility, no matter how much we make it like home, there is that disconnect with the community.”

Dickey believes that the program will create real progress and hope for some of the residents.

“We just have to make them believe in themselves,” she said.