• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Daisy Hill's mobility program improving quality of life

DUSTIN DOWNS brings his enthusiasm and encouragement to a daily exercise program for residents at Daisy Hill Senior Living Community in Versailles. "We're trying to optimize and improve the quality of life with our mobility program," said Downs, mobility coordinator. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Leaps and bounds. That's how Dustin Downs responds when asked how residents of Daisy Hill Senior Living Community are responding to a mobility program focused on improving their quality of life. One Daisy Hill resident walks 35 miles a week - or 60,000 steps in seven days. She and about 20 other residents at the assisted living community in Versailles are participating in a program called "Step on It," according to Downs, mobility coordinator at Daisy Hill. Using pedometers to track their daily steps and miles, they'd traveled 700 miles in just two-and-a-half months on a map measuring a journey from Versailles to Key West, Fla., Downs said. At the end of each week, one Daisy Hill resident gets recognized as "Stepper of the Week" during lunch. "They're competitive at 90 years old believe it or not," said Downs. Daily exercise offers another chance for Daisy Hill residents to focus their attention on "health and wellness - that's what it's all about," said Downs. His half-hour chair exercise classes focus mainly on cardio, with hand movements to "keep those muscles working." "This just shows with hard work and commitment what you can achieve at this point in your life," said Downs. A Senior Olympics on May 20 gave Daisy Hill residents an outlet to show what they can achieve. In September, the winners here will compete against residents from Windsor Gardens in Georgetown. Executive Director Laurie Dorough said Daisy Hill strives to "help and support (its residents) with assisted senior care, but it's also (about) encouraging activities, friendships, new relationships and a sense of family that we offer. And the mobility program really brings all that together." "We know that if we can provide structure and routine for activities, which includes our mobility program for our residents," she explained, "we know that will only continue to support their overall physical health and cognitive health at the same time." Downs worked with traumatic brain injury patients before coming to Daisy Hill Senior Living Community. He came here as a caregiver a couple of months after the assisted living community's doors opened in March 2013. "Every day," said Downs, "they teach me something new in life ... I'm learning from them . I walk with them." On Saturday, June 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Daisy Hill ill host a Health and Wellness Fair. Free health screenings and a variety of other fun and informative activities for all ages are planned at Daisy Hill, located off Lexington Road at 1001 Crossfield Drive.

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