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By: Emily Shoemake on

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Active Aging Week at Presbyterian Senior Living

The last week in September marks Active Aging Week (AAW), which was founded in 2003 by the International Council on Active Aging.

The goal of AAW is to call attention to, and wholeheartedly celebrate, the positivity of aging today. During AAW, many senior healthcare providers participate by hosting various physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational and environmental centered events.

During these events, the hope is to provide seniors with the opportunity to experience wellness activities and exercise in a safe, supportive environment and promote the benefits of a healthier, more active lifestyle.

The primary objective of this week-long campaign is to diminish the societal stigma around aging by showing that seniors can live just as fully as anyone else in all areas of life-- regardless of age or health conditions.

Every year, Presbyterian Senior Living embraces AAW by providing engaging opportunities for residents to participate in! 

St. Andrew's Village- Indiana, PA

At St. Andrew's Village, Fitness Center Director Kristen Lytle planned a weeklong event called "The Challenge."

During the event, residents were divided into teams and took part in three different physical activity challenges, including use of the NuStep exercise machine, Wii Bowling and a dance event.

The Challenge highlighted activities that are offered weekly in the fitness center to help promote prolonged participation in these events and boost physical activity among residents.

At the end of the week, scores were tallied, and winners were announced at a luncheon open for all residents to attend. Winners received prizes, and all participants were given a t-shirt!Active Aging Week- St. Andrew's Village


Westminster Woods at Huntingdon- Huntingdon, PA

Westminster Woods at Huntingdon celebrated AAW this year with the theme "Inspiring Wellness," which emphasized engaging as fully as possible in all areas of life, regardless of health.

The main event of this campaign was a Fun Fitness Walk on a local trail and took place on Wednesday, September 26.

The event encouraged residents to walk, bike, bird watch or photograph the scenery located in the beautiful Huntingdon county with the guidance of Westminster Woods at Huntingdon team members.

The walk began at Alfrata Station off Route 22 near Alexandria.Active Aging Week- Westminster Woods at Huntingdon


Glen Meadows Retirement Community- Glen Arm, MD

This year, Fitness Center Director Jennifer Perkovich tied in their annual mobility review with AAW. The mobility review is used to benchmark the activity levels of residents and help promote physical activity.

To start the week, Charm City Run, a local business came in on Tuesday, September 11 to talk about proper shoes. Fall prevention packets, written by Perkovich, were distributed to residents that discussed checking walking patterns and getting active.

On Wednesday, September 19, residents were invited to participate in an individual review time slot. Glen Meadows residents said goodbye to Summer on Friday, September 21 with the last outdoor fitness equipment workout of the year.

Perkovich organized a trip to Mariner Point Park on Tuesday, September 25 where residents partnered with a homeschool group and walked around the fully accessible park.

On Wednesday, September 26, mobility review participants were entered into a raffle for prizes such as a healthy living basket, a chef's table experience for four at Glen Meadows, and a Fall Festival Admission to Weber's Farm, a local apple and pumpkin farm.

To wrap up all of the AAW events, BAYADA Home Health Care came in on Thursday, September 27 and did a presentation on the flu before residents got their flu shots.


Kirkland Village- Bethlehem, PA

During this year's AAW, Kirkland Village Fitness Director Lynn Diaz incorporated the four pillars of Masterpiece Living ® (spiritual, intellectual, physical and social) during events that were hosted daily from Monday, September 25 to Saturday, September 29. 

The first event held on Monday was cardio drumming, which is a fun workout that uses drumsticks and choreography sets to upbeat music.

The next day the community hosted a treasure hunt, which split residents into groups. Each group then started with a clue and searched for "hidden treasure" throughout the community, which got residents up and about.

Wednesday's event was Jeopardy, which was played just like the TV show. Two teams of residents competed to have the bragging rights of Jeopardy champions. Later in the day residents attended the annual Kirkland Village talent show and enjoyed acts by both staff and residents.

The Kirkland Strong Potluck was scheduled for Thursday, so Diaz organized a "Create Your Own Cupcake" event for AAW where she set up a cupcake bar for residents to decorate a plain cupcake with a variety of different icings and toppings.

On the second to last morning of Kirkland's AAW celebration, Diaz led a gentle yoga/meditation class that allowed residents to begin their day with a relaxing beginners yoga practice.

To wrap up the week, residents participated in the Lehigh Valley Alzheimer's Walk on Saturday, September 29!Active Aging Week- Kirkland Village


Presbyterian Village at Hollidaysburg- Hollidaysburg, PA

To celebrate AAW, Presbyterian Village at Hollidaysburg Fitness Center Director Andrea Teeters put together an Active Aging Day Celebration that was hosted on September 26th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The first event of the day was a hymn sing for all residents. The next event was a chair yoga demonstration that educated residents on the practice of chair yoga.

In the afternoon, Teeters hosted a Team Trivia Contest where residents competed against each other for prizes.

There were snacks and drinks available during the contest. Following the first trivia contest, Teeters hosted a gentle chair yoga class for residents to participate in and relax and stretch.

The final activity of the day was a second round of trivia for those who were unable to attend the earlier session.Active Aging Week-Presbyterian Village at Hollidaysburg


Cathedral Village- Philadelphia, PA

To kick off AAW, Fitness Center Director Kevin Mallon ran a Qi Gong class in the main lobby for all residents to join on Tuesday and Thursday morning. Qi Gong is a form of gentle exercise that stretches the body, increases fluid movement and builds an awareness of how your body moves through space, making it an excellent form of exercise for seniors.

On Thursday afternoon, Mallon organized a croquet tournament and a golf event on the Cathedral Village putting green.

On Friday, September 28, Cathedral Village held a full community walk with Aegis Physical Therapy. This walk was offered to all levels of care, regardless of age or health! The goal of this first event was to get residents out and about and moving around.

On October 5, Mallon took a group of residents to compete in the Friendship Games, a local event for residents of Continuing Care Retirement Communities in southeastern Pennsylvania that promotes healthy lifestyles and allows residents to rekindle old friendships and encounter new ones.Active Aging Week- Cathedral Village


Green Ridge Village- Newville, PA

To celebrate AAW, Green Ridge Village residents participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer's at Caledonia State Park on September 29.

Residents walked with 40 other teams from the area to raise funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research.

In addition to getting up and active during the Alzheimer's walk, residents participated in annual Masterpiece Living® mobility reviews.

Like at Glen Meadows and Kirkland Village, this mobility review is used to benchmark the activity levels of residents and help promote physical activity.

Active Aging Week- Green Ridge Village


Ware Presbyterian Village- Oxford, PA

For AAW, Fitness Center Director Victoria Kates organized three different "Walks to Wellness" to get residents up and moving on Monday, October 1.

At 10 a.m. there was a choice between a ¾ mile walk or a 1 ½ mile walk. Then, at 10:30 there was a walking meditation class, which allowed residents to get their steps in and clear their minds simultaneously.

During all the walks, residents were invited to bring their four-legged friends so participants could enjoy the company of some canine companions. Water and refreshing flavors of the season were available for residents to enjoy throughout the event. Active Aging Week- Ware Presbyterian Village


 The turn out of all of these events made for another successful year of celebrating Active Aging Week. For more information on how to find a senior friendly fitness center to increase you or your loved one's activity levels, download our free checklist below!

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About Emily Shoemake

As the Digital Content Assistant at Presbyterian Senior Living, Emily produces content for the PSL blog and engages with our audience on social media. Emily is a Shippensburg University and Delta Zeta alumna from Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

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