By Tamera Manzanares
Community connections can make us feel happy, accepted and less lonely. Sometimes, connections turn into friendships that fill a void left by those we have lost. This is the case for Anita Reynolds a lifelong Craig resident and coordinator of Northwest Colorado Health’s Aging Well program.
“I’ve lost my parents and grandparents, and have missed that connection in my life,” she said. “Working with seniors has helped fill that space and allowed me to continue friendships with older adults in the community who I’ve known for a long time.”
Aging Well has provided exercise and wellness opportunities for older adults in Moffat County for more than 10 years. You can find seniors participating in a fitness class, senior wellness clinic or foot care clinic somewhere in the community nearly every day.
Reynolds has been involved in the program since 2015. She has experienced and seen the benefits of the social connections that grow between participants. “They just enjoy being together. It gets them out of the house and together with others who are the same age and have the same interests,” she said.
Reynolds now coordinates all aspects of the program, including schedules, venues and instructors. She also teaches classes, including a summer Aquatics class that starts June 3 at the Craig Swimming Complex.
Aging Well exercise helps improve strength, flexibility and balance and is available to seniors of all fitness levels and abilities. Some older adults participate well into their 90s. The program has developed a loyal following. More than 270 people participated in Aging Well activities in Moffat County in 2018.
The most popular program, Wellness Wednesdays, offers a full day of activities including exercise, lunch and a guest speaker. Seniors also can check in with a nurse, who will check their weight and blood pressure and review their medications. Foot care is available by appointment.
Aging Well programs are available throughout the community thanks to partnerships with organizations including St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Sunset Meadows, Senior Social Center and the City of Craig. “These partnerships are huge,” Reynolds said. “Without this collaboration we wouldn’t be able to pull together as a community to offer these services to older adults.”
Exercise classes and senior wellness checks are available for a $3 suggested donation (no one is turned away due to inability to pay). There are fees for foot care and lunch at Wellness Wednesdays.
For more information, call 970-871-7676. See a full schedule of Aging Well programs HERE.