ELCA congregations can help seniors when funding or transportation gets in the way of wellness, said Cindy Curtis, BeWell manager for Lutheran Homes of South Carolina.
“Older adults want to stay active and engaged, but too often can’t access programming,” she said. “They can become isolated, and with that isolation comes physical, mental and emotional decline.”
So take a page from South Carolina Lutherans, Curtis said. You and your congregation can bring older friends and neighbors to wellness classes in your community. For more information, contact Curtis via email.
They're at the gym regularly. It's not about a six pack (defined abs) or an upcoming race but remaining healthy and partnering in continuing care as they age. Five years ago, Margaret and Joe Zeigler moved into an independent living residence at The Heritage at Lowman in Whiterock, a ministry of Lutheran Homes of South Carolina.
"I was 68 and he was 70," Margaret said. "We knew a lot of things here would keep us well. It means we can take care of ourselves longer than if we'd stayed in our old home in the [North Carolina] mountains, where I was so lonely. Here it's not just sitting and watching TV all day, which is what you start doing if you don't have physical activities and involvement with other people."
|Craig and Mille Brandt build strength and wellness through "BeWell," a program of Lutheran Homes of South Carolina.|
Margaret, a longtime yoga enthusiast, can pick from the Lutheran Homes' extensive "BeWell" menu: tai chi, aerobics, balance classes, arthritis exercises, health lectures, fitness center workouts and outdoor exercise stations. On Sundays they can walk to nearby Bethel Lutheran Church.
Helping the Zeiglers and others in independent, assisted living and health-care units manage their health is important, said Cindy Curtis, BeWell program manager.
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