The residents of Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley on the corner of Greene Street and West Washington Lane quash the stereotype of inactive seniors. The assisted living facility offers an assortment of activities, including game time, daily exercise programs and weekly yoga classes.
Carly Solis-Cohen, personal care and independent living recreational coordinator at Stapeley, said the variety of programs help the seniors stay active. Responsible for scheduling exercise workouts, intergenerational and animal programs for the seniors, Cohen said she noticed the programs have a positive effect on the residents. “The exercise programs, being around the children and animal programs we find are very uplifting to their mood,” said Cohen. “It definitely has a positive impact on them.”
Observing the interest in piano concerts and guest lecture presentations, Cohen said the residents at Stapeley exemplify a learning community. “Music is so important to the elderly. Even though some of them are beginning to get dementia or forgetting songs the music stays with them, ” said Cohen.
When asked what activities she looked forward to, resident Wendy Contos said she enjoys a number of the programs. “I like going to the library, eating, generally, mostly, and movies.”
According to the 2004 study, Senior Citizens Center: What They Offer, Who Participates and What They Gain, research showed, “centers provide opportunities for socialization and a large majority of respondents (87 percent) reported they participate in the meal program as much as for the opportunity to socialize as for the meals they receive.”
Robert Cunningham is one of the live entertainers Stapeley offers to entertain the residents. Since he admitted that he too might need living assistance in upcoming years, Cunningham empathized with the residents. “I’m very aware that people need the kinds of entertainment that we singers bring in. All that helps keep their lives enriched,” said Cunningham. “Just because you’re retired or you can no longer stay in your own home doesn’t mean that you should be shuffled off to the side.”