Kinesiologists Deliver High Level of Service to Residents

United’s full-time Kinesiologists have expanded their one-on-one exercise programs to address increased demand and to support residents’ health while more formal exercise classes are suspended. The one-on-one programs are unique to United because they are tailored to residents’ specific needs and conducted by professional Kinesiologists, which many older adult communities don’t have.

“One-on-one sessions have always been available at both communities, but now they are being widely offered as a way to keep residents moving and active while in their suites,” said Jenn Kitchen, Learning and Development/Occupational Health and Safety Leader. “We’re finding that the frequency of one-on-ones has increased during COVID, partly due to COVID restrictions and partly from a general increase in demand.”

Heather Weibe works with Garrison Green resident Jackie Naylor
Heather Weibe works with Garrison Green resident Jackie Naylor

Garrison Green Kinesiologist Heather Wiebe said United’s exercise programs are perfect for all levels. “For those residents who use our one-on-one services, they often address a specific or individual issue, like rehabilitation from a fall or surgery, or a chronic issue that may negatively impact their strength or daily functions,” said Heather.

“In some cases, we work closely with them to develop programs so the resident can work towards performing the exercises on their own in their suites. Whereas some residents prefer to work with the Kinesiologist continuously to ensure they are always safe and doing the exercises correctly, many residents don’t require the one-on-one support. In this case, our group classes work very well for them as they really appreciate and benefit from the social component when exercising.”

“Through our exercise programming and one-to-one sessions, we look to maintain and improve the mobility of residents so they can continue with the activities of daily life they most enjoy,” said Fish Creek Kinesiologist Kory Howard, who is seeing 15 residents individually. “Fall prevention is also a major component of our programming. We give residents the information, skills and confidence they need to maintain or improve their balance. Each resident is unique and our programs are tailored  to match their abilities and help them reach their goals.“


Kory works with resident Ken Cadman on hand-eye coordination
Kory works with resident Ken Cadman on hand-eye coordination

“We can’t do regular classes, so residents have asked for more individual support,” said Kory. One resident, Ken Cadman recently fell and turned to Kory to help him regain his mobility and confidence. Kory worked with Ken to sharpen his hand-eye coordination, his balance and confidence to mitigate the risk of another fall. “I’ve fully recovered from my fall, but I’m working with Kory on balance and stability to increase my confidence. He’s also helping me with my leg strength and weight distribution. It’s interesting to know what is happening in the body and how the muscles work together. I’m more aware now of what’s happening when I’m in the shower or walking so that I don’t risk a fall.”

“We’ve noticed that some residents have declined in their mobility due to COVID restrictions so we work with them on their endurance, balance and confidence either one-on-one or with a tailored exercise plan that they can do on their own,” said Kory.

“When formal exercise programs stopped running, the one-on-ones really took off,” said Heather. “We had more requests from families because they recognized that mom or dad are doing well when they exercised regularly and they didn’t want that to stop.” Heather often goes from suite to suite to answer questions and provide support. “I’m regularly doing three to nine one-on-one sessions in a day.

“Exercise is medicine. It’s not in pill form, but with the right programs, residents will find them meaningful, support their overall wellness, and enhance their quality of life,” said Heather.

She notes that the work the Kinesiologists do is leading edge, ensuring the latest approaches are taken to deliver the best possible health and wellness results.

“The demand for our specialized services has increased noticeably in this past year and it’s gratifying to see residents respond with better mobility and confidence,” said Heather.

Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.

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