United Games Puts Focus on Active Aging

“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!” – Benjamin Franklin

Resident throws a dart at a paint-filled balloon

Throwing a dart at a paint-filled balloon can be messy!

Staying active is a cornerstone of United’s philosophy. So is community, and when you put the two together, the result is a lot of fun and laughter! The United Games is a great way to keep the brain and body moving, and includes a trivia game, balloon painting, balloon volleyball, a ball toss and an egg race.

“The games can be seen as two levels of competition,” said Felicia Agyekum, United’s therapist/kinesiologist, and one of the event coordinators. “The most obvious is the competition between residents, but as in any sport or competition, the real value is in competing with ourselves. For residents, the games celebrate life, talent, their abilities and their spirit. Just because you are getting older, it doesn’t mean you have to place limitations on yourself.”

For the residents, it was all about the fun and friendships. “The best thing for me was the community aspect of the games,” said Fish Creek resident Willi Mackey. “The games were a lot of fun, and it was a very good way to get to know the other residents here.”

Jean and Gordon Schnell echoed that. “We loved it! We got to meet some of the other residents from here and from the other community [Garrison Green].”

“It was a lot of fun. Everyone was having a great time,” said Fish Creek resident Jim Ion.

And resident Inger Copland congratulated the staff for putting so much effort into developing the games. “My husband Bill and I both thought it was great fun. There was a nice mix of mental and physical games. I really liked the balloon volleyball!’

While this year’s games were held indoors, this video shows the first United Games played in the expansive courtyard.

“The United Games connect our residents with a sense of community as well as bridging the relationships between our two locations,” said Jenn Kitchen, kinesiologist. “These types of activities are a fun way of exercising our bodies and our minds. I believe our residents enjoy participating because it offers an opportunity to work together towards a common goal, while strengthening relationships not only between residents themselves but with staff as well.

“At the end of the day, we aren’t really looking for the winner but it was more important that the residents had a great day filled with laughter and fun memories,” said Jenn.

Photos and video by Sherana Productions

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