Do you enjoy watching the Olympics? Here at Emerald Heights, we have our own version of the Summer Games. With the exception of last year, we’ve held our annual Fun and Fitness Games for 20+ years. It’s an opportunity for staff and resident involvement in all areas of our campus to get together, challenge themselves and just have fun.
Although we still had several tournaments this year, we placed an even greater emphasis than usual on the “fun” part of the Fun and Fitness Games. With multiple events going on every day and some at the same time, everyone on campus had options to choose from. We held some of the events in or just outside the Corwin Center so that even those who couldn’t come out could still watch and cheer on their fellow residents.
We started the week off with an opening ceremony, of course, followed by a scavenger hunt. Other activities throughout the week included:
And, naturally, there was a closing ceremony. Everyone enjoyed root beer floats, and we showed a video that recapped the week’s fun. Plus, we recognized the residents who participated in the most activities during the week. For the ninth year in a row, Bob Levin, who’s 93 years young, won this distinction among the men. Bob has lived at Emerald Heights for 18 years and absolutely loves participating in the games. Among the women, Hilda Cahn and Sandy Chun were tied for participating in the most events.
“My whole goal with the Fun and Fitness Games is to strengthen the community as much as possible,” said Ryan Schuhler, our fitness program coordinator.
Ryan pointed out that the games are a great way for residents in the different areas of Emerald Heights to get to know each other better.
“They might see each other in the hallway, and maybe they know each other’s name, but they don’t spend time together,” Ryan said. “But when they’re playing in the same event, it gives them something to talk about later when they meet each other in the hallway again. It’s something they can laugh about together. It’s a good way to start conversations and friendships.”
Fortunately, we’ve been able to resume the summer hikes and nature walks we typically take. Already, residents have gone on day hikes to Bridal Veil Falls and Rattlesnake Ridge. In September, we have an outing planned at Wallace Falls. And if the weather holds, we’ll most likely plan another hike for October.
For residents who want a less strenuous option, we also have regular outings to parks around the Redmond area that have paved pathways. We’re lucky to have so many beautiful public parks nearby.
Residents also have a sports committee that they run. During the summer months, they hold tournaments that might span two to four weeks, including:
We’re also able to hold some of the regular fitness classes outside when the weather is nice, like the dance aerobics, tai chi and sunrise fitness classes.
And, since we’ve had so much positive feedback from residents, we’ve maintained and added to the daily fitness video schedule we started last year when in-person classes weren’t an option. Those classes are available on our local TV channel. We also create videos of the classes and offer them on the Emerald Heights YouTube channel. That way, residents can take the classes whenever they want—even when they’re out of town.
As Ryan will tell you, there’s no shortage of participation around here!
So far, we’ve focused on the “fun and games” of community involvement. But residents at Emerald Heights take their commitment to the community seriously, too. Helping others gives them a deeper sense of purpose, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved, such as:
A number of independent living residents offer their time and energy to help residents in our assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing areas. They read to them, play games with them and help in many other ways.
These are convenient options for the entire Emerald Heights community, and it’s the residents who keep them running smoothly.
Our beautiful one-mile-long nature trail is a defining facet of Emerald Heights. Thanks to years of hard work and the devotion of residents who have an abiding interest in environmental awareness and preservation, everyone can enjoy the trail.
Since 2014, the residents who call themselves the Wooden Toy Makers have lovingly created and donated thousands of wooden toys to local charities during the winter holiday season.
For some people, helping others is a way of life. We’re fortunate to have quite a few people like that who have chosen to make their home here at Emerald Heights. In the past year or so, two residents have received some well-deserved recognition for their ongoing efforts.
AARP selected Bob DeWald as the recipient of the 2020 Washington Andrus Award for Community Service. Bob has more than 16 years of community service to his credit, including volunteer work on a long-term basis with both AARP and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves.
Sound Generations, a King County non-profit organization that serves older adults and adults with disabilities, chose Shirin Velji to receive the Inspire Positive Aging 2020 Award in Health and Wellness. Shirin has served on a number of local boards, councils and committees. She received the award for her dedication to promoting health and wellness.
Community involvement has different meanings for different people, from pitching in to plant a shared garden to organizing a new committee for a special project. And not everyone is a “joiner” or a “doer.” But, if being an active member of your community is a role you embrace, know that there are countless opportunities awaiting you at Emerald Heights.
We invite you to check out our senior living community firsthand. If you’d like to take a tour, either in person or virtually or attend an upcoming event, just fill out the form below and let us know!