|Saturday, September 7||NJ Senior Olympics|
|Sunday, September 8||NJ Senior Olympics|
|Wednesday, September 25||Middlesex Senior Walk|
|Wednesday, October 23||Adult Coloring @ Piscataway Senior Center|
|Monday, November 4||Adult Coloring @ Sunrise of East Brunswick|
|Saturday, November 9||Sunrise of East Brunswick|
|Monday, November 11||Adult Coloring @ Sunrise Memory Care|
|Tuesday, November 12||Bingocize @ Piscataway Senior Center|
|Wednesday, November 13|| East Brunswick Senior Center
|Friday, November 15|| Monroe Village
|Thursday, November 21||Piscataway Senior Center|
September 7 & 8, NJ Senior Olympics
On September 8 and 9, 2019, Dr. Kaplowitz’s Exercise and Aging students volunteered at the NJ Senior Games in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Almost 1000 participants, age ranging from anywhere from 55 to 105, from all over the state of NJ participated in the Games. Sports that seniors competed were billiards, mini-golf, bocce, basketball, horseshoes, swimming, darts, pickleball, cycling, corn hole, softball, tennis, volleyball, archery, track and field, fencing, bowling, and golf. The Senior Games started from the opening ceremony, including the Toby “The Terror” Santoro’s, inspirational story of competing at the age of 105, to witnessing the energetic women’s volleyball game on the last day. The NJ senior games opened eyes for many students as they observed older athletes competing at the epitome of their respective games. Many students came in not expecting the level of competition they saw at the Games. The event provided a medium for students to learn that being physically active at an older age can greatly impact the quality of life.
September 25, Middlesex Senior Walk
On September 25, 2019, the students from Dr. Kaplowitz’s “Exercise and Aging” course attended the annual Middlesex County Senior Health and Fitness Walk at Roosevelt Park in Edison. Our group arrived early in the morning to set up a wide array of different games and interactive table displays, such as cornhole, bowling, a balance obstacle course, dexterity exercises, tactile exercises and even chair yoga led by the Department of Kinesiology’s own Steff Gallante. After our fun morning of interacting with the seniors, we assisted Steff in leading a dance warm-up before heading out for the walk portion of the event. During the walk around the lake, our team handed out waters and encouraged the seniors along the way. The seniors were super eager to interact with the students, and the students were able to see how many, nearly 700 seniors in this event alone, that are continuing to stay active as they age. It was so great and important to experience an event where different communities of seniors come together to celebrate the fullness of well-being, which is living a life surrounded by people who encourage you to strive to keep improving regardless of age.
November 9, Sunrise of East Brunswick
On November 9, 2019, the student’s from Dr. Kaplowitz’s “Exercise and Aging” course took a trip to Sunrise Assisted Living in East Brunswick. This community of seniors encompassed such a wide range of functional and cognitive levels, which allowed the students to have such an enriching experience that called on them to engage their creativity in tailoring activities towards these differences. With a group of 28 students we were able to begin the day with two warm-ups and light exercises, one for those in the assisted living and one for those in the memory care. After that, the students broke up into stations where the seniors were free to roam around and try different activities. Some of their favorites included playing cards, bowling, and getting their nails painted. We also did some arts and crafts, had a walking club that went out for a walk around the facility, and many people just enjoyed the music provided by our awesome live DJ! This experience was so eye-opening for many students who had never visited an assisted living facility and especially for those who had never encountered someone with dementia. This field truly takes a lot of patience, creativity, and genuine love for the work and these students were naturals!
November 13, East Brunswick Senior Center
The East Brunswick Senior Center was an interactive and engaging event with a very energetic population. We started off on an introduction of the Center of Exercise and Aging, followed by a 10 minute warm up routine. The seniors then split up by visiting different stations encompassing the various modes of fitness and did physical activities at each station. There was also a mind games and activity station if they needed to take a break. Many of the seniors said they felt encouraged to exercise and do things they did not think they could do before. Many stations had handouts and sheets for exercises to try at home. The program ended with a relay race game that focused on dexterity and fine motor skills. They all were very competitive and had a wonderful attitude throughout the whole event.
November 15, Monroe Village
On November 21, 2019, students from Dr. Susan Kaplowitz’s “Exercise and Aging” traveled to Monroe Township to interact with the residents of Monroe Village. The community of older adults at this facility exhibited a wide range of physical fitness levels, from physically frail to physically elite. This provided the students with an opportunity to engage and apply classroom learned knowledge with seniors of several different physical abilities. The program was split into two parts; tabling and exercise. During the tabling portion of the event, groups of three to four students were able to work with the older adults and educate them on topics such as dexterity, mind games, strength, and balance. While educating the residents on these topics, the students' incorporated games or tasks to create a fun learning environment for the participants. The second portion of the event provided the seniors with a chance to exercise alongside the students. We began with a 20-minute Zumba routine, then had a short break and ended with 10 minutes of Yoga. The main goal of this program was to educate the seniors on the importance of staying active and provide them with realistic exercises and games to make that possible.
November 21, Piscataway Senior Center
On November 21, 2019, students from Dr. Susan Kaplowitz’s “Exercise and Aging” course participated and engaged with the seniors in Piscataway Senior Center. This program was organized by the class and ran early in the morning, with about 35 to 40 seniors aged 60 and above. It began with a dancing warm-up, followed by tabling that focused on the following topics: mental and cognitive health, strength training, flexibility, balance, and arts & crafts. With respect to thanksgiving, the seniors truly enjoyed making hand turkeys and origami. Prior to concluding the event, a fun and simple, yet competitive and intense game was facilitated: Hep Hep Hooray! The main goal of this program was to guide and aid seniors to make use of tactiles and enable them to do exercises or activities, wherever they are, that could help lengthen their lives and maintain their functional independence.