ON THE JOB
Q: Why is it important to stay active as we age?
A: It’s important to stay active at any age. We hear a lot of the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” and it really is true with anything. It’s important for the residents, especially senior citizens, to make sure they are participating in some sort of physical activity.
The neat thing about HealthAbility is it’s about maintaining personal independence as long as you can. So the primary focus of HealthAbility is to help them maintain and improve functions to stay independent. Most people at Parkway Place want to stay independent as long as they can.
Q: What is your wellness program, HealthAbility, about?
A: It’s a holistic approach to wellness, and we focus on the whole person: mind, body and spirit.
Q: Why is the whole-person wellness approach important?
A: We can’t choose our genes, and we can’t change our past, but we can choose how we’ll live the rest of our lives. With HealthAbility, there are eight dimensions of wellness: nutritional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, environmental, emotional, social and community wellness. By focusing on those dimensions of wellness, it’s the whole person, so it’s good to make sure you’re tapping into each of those dimensions so that you are living life to the fullest.
Q: Do you notice that focusing on wellness makes a difference on people’s lives?
A: Definitely, yes. The residents here at Parkway Place are active in not necessarily just the physical part, but they’re also active in going to social events or keeping their minds active. You really can see a difference in just the way they live.
Q: What is a good exercise for older individuals?
A: I recently went to Dallas and got certified in Tai Chi because studies show that Tai Chi is really good for seniors and their balance. You’re using both sides of the brain, so it’s actually good for keeping your brain active as well.
NAME: Rachel McKee
BUSINESS: Wellness director at Parkway Place, 1321 Park Bayou
EXPERIENCE: Certified in Yoga Fit for seniors and in Tai Chi
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s of science in exercise and sports science, Brigham Young University in Hawaii
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