Aging Well: Popular wellness program journeys to new venue

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New Craig location

Wellness Wednesdays is moving to The Journey at First Baptist, 1150 W. 9th St., beginning Aug. 3. Help celebrate the move with lunch for $3 at 11:30 a.m. and live music by Legacy at noon followed by regularly scheduled fitness and wellness programs. Wellness Wednesdays, an Aging Well program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is held every Wednesday in Craig.

Craig schedule

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Foot care clinic. Call 970-875-1884 for required appointment.

8:30 to 10 a.m. Colorado Northwestern Community College memoir writing. Call 970-824-1135 for required registration.

9:30 a.m. to noon Senior wellness clinic

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Beginner and advanced Arthritis Foundation Exercise

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch for $3 and a guest presentation

1 to 3 p.m. Pinochle

1:15 to 3:15 p.m. CNCC art class. Call 970-824-1135 for required registration.

In Routt County

Wellness Day programs for older adults are offered Mondays at the Oak Creek Community Center and Wednesdays at The Haven Community Center in Hayden. Programs include fitness classes, foot and wellness clinics, lunch and guest presentations. For more information or a schedule of activities, call 970-871-7676 or visit www.nwcovna.org, and click on “Services” and “Wellness and Aging Services”.

— Anyone who has visited or participated in Wellness Wednesdays in Craig can attest to the upbeat energy and enthusiasm that permeates nearly every activity of the day.

Whether exercising, fine tuning writing or art techniques, chatting with a nurse or enjoying lunch with friends, participants clearly are excited and grateful to be out in the community and growing healthier in body, mind and spirit.

In its fifth year, Wellness Wednesdays, an Aging Well program of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, sees an average of 65 older adults participating in one or more activities every week.

Currently held at the American Legion, the program’s popularity and continued growth has spurred an exciting move to a new venue: The Journey at First Baptist.

Wellness Wednesday will be held at The Journey beginning Aug. 3. An opening celebration will feature music from the local band Legacy and door prizes.

The church, which recently completed construction on a new addition, offers ample space for activities held during Wellness Wednesdays. Other benefits, such as plentiful parking and a covered walkway, provide easy and safe access for participants.

“It’s so welcoming,” said Angela Wooden, Aging Well outreach coordinator for Moffat County. “It has a positive bright energy that we feel matches the energy of our program.”

Fitness instructor Tammy Workman looks forward to teaching advanced Arthritis Foundation Exercise from a raised platform, where she will be more visible to everyone in the large class, in the church’s former sanctuary space.

A new, open lobby will host the Introduction to Movement and Exercise class, which is held during the same time.

“The atmosphere is really nice,” Workman said.

The old sanctuary also will serve as the lunch and guest speaker area and space for art and memoir writing classes, offered by Colorado Northwestern Community College. Remodeled rooms attached to the sanctuary will provide more privacy for older adults meeting with wellness and foot care nurses.

A basement may be used for new activities in the future.

Gary Tague, associate pastor at The Journey, said the church is looking forward to hosting the wellness program.

“We are excited,” he said. “We want this facility to be used to help people.”

Wellness Wednesdays is a culmination of elements shown to improve the health of older adults, helping them live longer and more independently.

Gentle fitness classes improve strength, flexibility, balance and stamina so older adults can enjoy a higher quality of life and prevent dangerous falls.

Regular visits with wellness and foot care nurses provide an important health safety net for many older adults coping with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other health issues.

Classes through CNCC — as well as lunch, guest speakers and other activities — offer intellectual stimulation and social connection vital to the well being of older adults.

Opportunities such as these are not easy to find in many rural areas where older adults can be more prone to isolation and depression.

Perhaps most importantly, Wellness Wednesdays in Craig, and similar programs in Oak Creek and Hayden, are welcoming and affordable. Activities and services are offered on a donation basis or for a small, reasonable fee.

Sometimes change can be difficult, but Wellness Wednesday participants have shown they can be open to something different, said Wooden, who took over as program coordinator in May.

“I was a big change for them, and they welcomed me, so I hope they welcome this too,” she said.

Wellness Wednesday will be held at the American Legion this week. Following lunch, Aging Well Program Director Donna Hackley will discuss Aging Well and VNA news and will be available to answer questions about the move to The Journey.

For more information about Aging Well Wellness Wednesdays programs, call 970-871-7676.

Tamera Manzanares writes for the Aging Well program and can be reached at tmanzanares@nwcovna.org. 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, visit www.nwcovna.org or call 970-871-7606.

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