Aging Well fitness coordinator Jeanne Upbin tests a participant's flexibility during a fitness test at Wellness Wednesdays in Craig. The VNA's Aging Well program will offer similar fitness activities and other opportunities for adults 50 and older during Hayden Wellness Days, held Wednesdays beginning Jan. 7 at the new Haven Community Center.

Courtesy photo

Aging Well fitness coordinator Jeanne Upbin tests a participant's flexibility during a fitness test at Wellness Wednesdays in Craig. The VNA's Aging Well program will offer similar fitness activities and other opportunities for adults 50 and older during Hayden Wellness Days, held Wednesdays beginning Jan. 7 at the new Haven Community Center.

Aging Well: Wellness Days kicks off in Hayden

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Hayden Wellness Days schedule

11 a.m. to noon - Arthritis Foundation Fitness with Gena Fischer, free

Noon to 1:30 p.m. - Lunch and a presentation. Lunch is $2.50 per person. A $25 punch card good for 11 lunches also is available.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m. - CNCC Writing Memoirs class with Carol Jacobson. There will be small fee for this eight-week class. For more information or to register, call Melissa Ferree, CNCC Hayden Coordinator at 276-7291. Leave a message.

2 to 4 p.m. Foot Care Clinic with Mary Acton. Call 824-8233 at least a day ahead to make an appointment.

Senior Wellness and Ask a Nurse. No appointment is necessary. Program time is subject to change.

It's cold, the wind is blowing and it's tempting to stay cooped up at home. Too much isolation, however, can leave older adults feeling depressed or just plain bored.

There couldn't be a better time of year to initiate Hayden Wellness Days, a day of activities for adults 50 and older that will be held every Wednesday, beginning Jan. 7, at the new Haven Community Center.

Patterned after Wellness Wednesdays in Craig, Hayden Wellness Days will provide a variety of affordable programs for older adults including exercise classes, wellness checks, art and writing classes and guest presentations.

Organized and sponsored by the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's Aging Well program, Hayden Wellness Days will begin at 11 a.m. with Arthritis Foundation Fitness, a gentle exercise class aimed at improving muscle strength and flexibility and relieving or preventing arthritic pain. This class is easily adapted to fit a variety of fitness levels.

Next will be a low-cost lunch prepared at The Haven kitchen and a presentation about an interesting or timely topic. Guest speakers will come from the Routt County Extension office, The Hayden Heritage Center and other community organizations.

Wellness Days coordinators also are excited to offer a class through Colorado Northwestern Community College in the afternoon. Writing Memoirs is an eight-week class that inspires participants to creatively record their stories. Future classes may include painting and other arts or crafts.

The fee for CNCC classes will be nominal; the exact cost has not yet been finalized.

VNA nurses will be available during the final portion of the day to take participants' blood pressure and answer questions they have about their health. A nurse also will provide foot checks, which may include a foot massage, toe nail trim and inspection for any problematic sores or cuts. Older adults can make an appointment ahead of time for this free service.

The recently completed Community Center is an ideal venue for Wellness Days. The large main room can be divided into smaller areas that are comfortable yet allow for multiple activities to happen at once. This will provide opportunities for a variety of new programs as Hayden Wellness Days expands.

A seminar series on topics such as nutrition, local history and wildlife as well as additional fitness classes such as Tai Chi and N'Balance are among activities that may be added depending on demand.

If Craig's Wellness Wednesdays program is any indication, Hayden Wellness Days will be well-received by older adults looking for opportunities to improve their physical health, socialize, learn new skills and information and become more engaged in their community.

In its third year, the Craig program usually attracts 40 to 60 participants. Although the program is designed for adults 50 and older, coordinators don't turn away younger individuals who want to be more actively involved in their health.

In some cases, three generations of family members attend the program, as well as husbands and wives, neighbors and longtime friends. Some have chronic conditions, while others want to revive or learn a hobby such as painting or writing. Some participants stay all day, while others take part in select classes or activities.

Almost all participants enjoy the socialization and camaraderie that accompanies all the programs.

The benefits of Wellness Wednesdays haven't gone unnoticed in the Craig medical community. Pamela Kinder, of the Kinder Family Clinic, is among doctors who have noticed more energy and confidence among patients that participate in the program.

She has recommended it to patients coping with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, back pain and arthritis.

"For a lot of them, just getting out and being with other people helps a lot," Kinder said. "It helps with energy levels, it helps with pain control and it helps with moods."

For more information about Hayden Wellness Days, call coordinator Kathy Lozinsky at 875-1887 or the Aging Well hotline at 871-7676. Suggestions for future activities are welcome.

Tamera Manzanares writes for the Aging Well program and can be reached at tammarie74@yahoo.com. Aging Well, a division of Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is a community-based program of healthy aging for adults 50 and older. For more information or to view past articles, visit www.agingwelltoday.com or call 871-7676.

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