Brain Fitness combines activities for sharper body and mind

Marlene Harner is moving a lot this summer. She’s a new independent living resident at Good Samaritan Society – Cedar Lake Village in Olathe, Kansas.

“We love it because of all the wonderful people here. They have something that goes on all the time. I’m just now getting to some of the things that you can do,” Marlene says.

It’s her first time at the Brain Fitness class led by Society wellness director Cheyenne Dains.

“We always start out with around five minutes of exercise and then do seven minutes of one brain activity,” Cheyenne says.

'Really have to think'

With brain teasers designed to be fun but challenging, Marlene is giving them her all.

“I really have to think in order to get this stuff down here," Marlene says. "My balance is pretty shaky let’s say. I’m going to come back and try more."

More activity translates to a better quality of life, says Cheyenne.

“Our overall goal is for them to increase their balance. To be able to decrease their risk of falling because falling causes major problems among seniors,” Cheyenne says. "Not only is it helping them with balance, it’s helping them use their mind. It’s also encouraging socialization among the residents."

'Like a family'

Joy Scheunemann and Deba Barker were neighbors before coming to the Society. Now they live next door to each other once again.

“To see somebody that I knew, it was great. She’s helped me get oriented and everything,” Deba says.

A support system to keep each other on their feet and in the best shape.

Joy says the class helps her “keep my faculties about me and I don’t want to end up in a wheelchair. Want to keep my legs going."

It’s the location’s goal to have a well-rounded wellness and activity program.

“Our residents are what we have going for us here,” Cheyenne says. “It’s like a family."

A family that wants to be active, purposeful and together.

“The residents are some of the most amazing people here. Getting to talk to them. Their stories. It’s just amazing to hear what they have to say. Their opinions on things. Their overall life experiences. And they’re just some of the friendliest people,” Cheyenne says.

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