Tai Chi is such a popular program at The Warm Friend for the past two years that they are now adding an advanced class. Our Warm Friend activity coordinator is a certified Tai Chi Easy Practice Leader and leads three classes a week for residents.
“Warm Friend residents are active independent residents, who are interested in learning and participating in new activities, and Tai Chi was one of them! I love nothing more than to honor the input of the residents, and their choice of activities!” said Gayla Hoekwater, The Warm Friend activity coordinator.
Tai Chi has many documented health benefits including improved balance, posture, flexibility, and breathing. Additionally, it is known to combatdepression, anxiety, and stress as well as boost confidence in one’s ability to perform everyday tasks. Gayla has seen how participating in classes has improved the health and wellbeing of each resident.
“Tai Chi is successful because of the residents,” Gayla said. “I’m blessed to serve them. That’s why I love my job so much.”
Susan DeJong, Director of The Warm Friend, knows that life enrichment about Resident Choice. “Residents not only appreciate having a choice, giving input, and providing feedback – they expect it,” she said. “As servant leaders, it is our role to honor that. Residents are instrumental in planning activities and outings, and our most important contribution in that process is listening, and then responding to their suggestions and opinions as we are able. We try to remember that The Warm Friend is their home. In other words, residents don’t live where we work. We work where they live.”
This program has been so well-received and successful at The Warm Friend that we are looking to expand it to our other centers.