Engag­ing the aging for strength at Friend­ship Village

Jes­si­ca Enriquez is a self-pro­claimed fit­ness enthu­si­ast” and a strong advo­cate of liv­ing a healthy lifestyle. As an exer­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist serv­ing Friend­ship Vil­lage for Alliance Rehab/​Senior Fit, Jes­si­ca is ded­i­cat­ed to help­ing res­i­dents become and/​or remain fit so that they can enjoy an active and vibrant lifestyle.

In apply­ing for a grad­u­ate pro­gram to earn her Mas­ters in Occu­pa­tion­al Ther­a­py, Jes­si­ca designed the Engag­ing the Aging for Strength pro­gram for res­i­dents at Friend­ship Vil­lage. The eight-week pro­gram was devel­oped to improve strength and cog­ni­tive abil­i­ty while also edu­cat­ing res­i­dents on how fit­ness impacts their activ­i­ties of dai­ly liv­ing (ADL).
Engag­ing the Aging for Strength began with an exten­sive assess­ment of par­tic­i­pants in areas includ­ing upper and low­er body strength, cog­ni­tion, and abil­i­ty to com­plete ADLs. An exer­cise pro­gram was then designed for the par­tic­i­pants to com­plete twice week­ly for eight weeks.

Jes­si­ca worked with the eight par­tic­i­pants dur­ing the pro­gram and then repeat­ed her assess­ments at the con­clu­sion. She report­ed that at the com­ple­tion of the régime, par­tic­i­pants showed an improve­ment in strength, func­tion and ADL. Half of the res­i­dents improved their speed in solv­ing cog­ni­tive mazes, and a vast major­i­ty gained con­fi­dence in accom­plish­ing goals and con­trol­ling body move­ment and under­stand­ing how dif­fer­ent exer­cis­es impact spe­cif­ic mus­cle groups.

It has always been my dri­ving force to help our res­i­dents gain their fit­ness goals, but to tru­ly impact their lives I designed this class Engag­ing the Aging to Strength, to aid with ADLs. This enables them to do more things they like to do with­out any bar­ri­ers, while edu­cat­ing them why and how these exer­cis­es are impor­tant for their indi­vid­ual goals,” said Jes­si­ca. I always like to find new and cre­ative ways to impact the resident’s qual­i­ty of life and this was a won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty for me to explore that.”

Almost half of old­er women age 75 and over live alone.

—National Center for Health Statistics