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New program uses therapy to ‘rebuild’ residents

Residents looking for techniques to improve and sustain strength, balance and mobility now have a new tool, thanks to Rebuild Me. The program, which is relatively new to Aberdeen Village, consists of progressive exercises to restore muscle strength. We asked Sandra Barnes, life enrichment director, to offer insight into this exciting new program.

Can you explain the new fitness program?

The Rebuild Me programs we offer for skilled nursing and assisted living residents are year-long programs with monthly video exercises that focus on strengthening, stretching, range of motion and muscle memory. Much like physical therapy, the exercise portion is progressive and varied in order to continue the muscle strengthening process. The program includes fun quarterly activities that increase neuromuscular communication and resident interaction. We have also included monthly topical conversations in the form of videos with coordinating handouts. These conversations cover topics relevant to seniors and help us cultivate a culture of wellness.

A program participant actually gave Rebuild Me its name when they said, “I didn’t realize how far down I had gone until I came here and started your classes. It just feels like you are rebuilding me.”

What are your reasons for introducing the program?

Our sister community successfully implemented Rebuild Me, so we decided to try it. We offer the program in collaboration with our AEGIS therapy department. Their restorative aide does the exercise part and my staff is responsible for the brain-health and fun parts.

Because Rebuild Me can be implemented by existing activity staff and the curriculum is reusable, we can offer a comprehensive wellness program without the expense of additional staff.

How will Rebuild Me help residents of Aberdeen Village?

We hope to see residents increase their agility and day-to-day memory.

Have you witnessed results with Rebuild Me?

We are still tweaking the program so it works best for our community. We have had multiple residents move from one neighborhood to another, so it has been hard to track. We hope that after the first of the year everything will slow down so we can see if this is the right format for our community. We have definitely seen an increase in participation, which is a positive sign.

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