Marjorie Milligan isn’t about to let chronic leg pain keep her down. At age 81, she attends a weekly exercise program at the Brookstone Estates assisted living facility in Paris. The free program, sponsored by Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center, started a little over a year ago and is intended to help seniors keep moving.
“The more I do the more it keeps me going,” Milligan said. “It has helped me stay active.”
Milligan and other Brookstone residents have attended the program each Thursday at 1:30 pm since it began April 27, 2016. The program was started by Sheryle Hendry, physical therapist assistant in the Rehab Department at Paris Community Hospital.
“They love Sheryle,” said Gerie Rigdon, executive director at Brookstone Estates. “She gets people exercising and it’s great to see them participating.”
Sondra Larrance, 81, also a Brookstone resident, says the exercise – along with music –keeps her coming back to the class.
“It gets you up and feeling happy. I love the music!” Larrance said.
The program helps seniors maintain/increase their strength and balance, while improving activities of daily living, such as getting out of a chair, standing from the toilet, reaching above the head, and walking. Exercises include everything from seated jumping jacks and leg raises to shoulder rolls and standing balance activities.
“I remind them to only do what they can,” Hendry said. “It’s not a contest. It’s all about moving.”
The class, which began with only three participants, has grown to about 13, Hendry said.
“It’s important that they get out and move; and it’s social for them,” Hendry explained. “Sometimes they won’t get out of their apartments, but they do for this. They’re so awesome. We have so much fun!”
“Stay Strong, Live Long”
Hendry also leads a similar weekly exercise program called “Stay Strong, Live Long” at the Chester P. Sutton Community Center for Seniors of Edgar County. The program began June 28, 2016 and takes place Tuesdays at 10 am.
Stay Strong, Live Long is modeled after the program at Brookstone Estates and averages about 20 participants.
“I’m pretty passionate about both exercise programs,” Hendry said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Classes at Brookstone Estates and the Sutton Center last an hour and are open to the public. For more information about both programs, call the Paris Community Hospital Rehab Department at 217-466-4244.
Paris Community Hospital
721 East Court Street
Paris, IL 61944
727 East Court Street
Paris, IL 61944
112 W. Madison Ave.
Chrisman, IL 61924
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