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University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center, Geauga County Department on Aging partner to offer more diverse Senior Program in 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monthly health screenings, activities and quarterly events invite older adults to “Celebrate Life”

GEAUGA COUNTY – Throughout 2014, University Hospitals (UH) Geauga Medical Center is once again partnering with the Geauga County Department on Aging to offer older adults a program of free activities, health screenings and community events to maximize their wellness.

The overarching theme of the 2014 senior initiative is Celebrate Life: Honoring the Past, Present and Future. “This year’s program is geared toward celebrating every aspect of life – mind, body and spirit,” says Julie Bogdan, LPN, Community Outreach Nurse Educator, UH Geauga Medical Center.

This year, the hospital and the Department on Aging will co-sponsor or present a large-scale community event each quarter to complement the increased number of monthly activities at Chagrin Falls, Chardon, Middlefield, Thompson and West Geauga Senior Centers.

For the remaining winter months, senior residents can participate in “Let’s Move: Fun and Fitness.” This program officially kicks off with the Heart to Heart Senior Dance, presented by the Chardon High School Teen Leadership Corps and held at the United Methodist Church in Chardon on Valentine’s Day. UH Geauga Medical Center will also provide upper and lower extremity screenings at the five senior centers during the winter and the hospital’s Director of Physical Therapy will lead safe exercise classes and demonstrations of body mechanics.

In the spring, the senior initiative is set to focus on the holistic benefits of healthy gardening and nutrition. For summer, the Celebrate Life activities will be coordinated with the sixth annual UH Geauga Medical Center Family Health & Safety Day on July 12. “We’ll work with the hospital to help seniors focus on sustainability during the summer,” says Jessica Boalt, MMT, MT-BC, Director, Geauga County Department on Aging. “We want to encourage them to sustain what they have learned about fitness, nutrition, safety and physical, mental and social wellness through the rest of the year.”

Fall activities will be centered on honoring the past, present and future. “We will offer legacy journaling at all five of our senior centers,” says Boalt. Additionally, UH Geauga Medical Center will align memory and stroke screenings with the journaling activities. Site coordinators for the five senior centers are working with UH Geauga Medical Center’s Community Outreach Department to schedule at least one educational or screening event per month throughout 2014, to take place at the centers or other locations in the community.

“The collaboration that has been built between UH Geauga Medical Center and the Department on Aging is felt by the seniors we serve,” says Bogdan. “Together we help them focus on total wellness and give them perspective on the importance of being social, being active and heeding their doctor’s advice.”

Jessica Boalt, who is working with UH Geauga Medical Center for the first time as the Department on Aging’s new Director, sees 2014 as the beginning of an even stronger partnership for the benefit of the community. “The senior education and screening initiative UH Geauga Medical Center offers is one of a kind in our region,” says Boalt. “We make a great team and with Celebrate Life, we are offering our seniors an even greater blend of traditional and holistic programming to improve their quality of life.”

To learn more about the 2014 Celebrate Life activities, events and screenings, call Julie Bogdan at UH Geauga Medical Center (440-285-7757) and Jessica Boalt or Dave Lelko at the Geauga County Department on Aging (440-279-2130).

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