By Jamisyn Becker, contributor and John Knox Village Life Enrichment Manager

The Life Enrichment team at John Knox Village was so excited to be able to plan this year’s 5th Annual Active Aging Week.

As many know, this year has presented all of us with new challenges, but that did not stop the team from delivering the same high-caliber, robust activity schedule for residents to enjoy during the week.

There was a combination of live in-person events, and others offered “virtually” on Zoom. This “new way of doing things” has pushed many of us to go outside of our previous comfort zones and grow in ways we never knew we could.

Some of us have stretched ourselves to learn new technology. That, in itself, is Active Aging at its best.

This year’s Active Aging Week brought many events from which to choose. Some favorites from the week were our virtual cooking classes with Carol Green, our in-person cooking demo with our very own Executive Chef Mark Gullusci, while others enjoyed the Fitness Challenge and Dance Around the Clock events.

We were also fortunate to have a variety of lectures, notably, “Boosting your Immune System” with regular Gazette contributor and Medical Director of Advent Health, The Center for Whole Person Health, Dr. Tereza Hubkova and “Making SENSE of Brain Health” with Dr. Linda Sasser.

The week concluded with a “Soiree Under the Stars” – an outdoor celebration at our new Welcome and Innovation Center, where residents and the team were able to safely gather and celebrate the week and the opportunity to be together again.

JKV residents, family and friends gather together at the new Welcome and Innovation Center during Active Aging Week.

JKV residents, family and friends gather together at the new Welcome and Innovation Center
during Active Aging Week.

Residents Embraced Active Aging Week

Heritage Tower resident Liz Lycke has enjoyed the lifestyle and events at JKV for four years. She actively participated in many events during this year’s COVID-careful Active Aging Week. Liz said she was “absolutely amazed at the imagination of the events and how we were all kept entertained.”

Liz feels safe and comfortable during these pandemic times at JKV. “The management took action early on and were ahead of the curve. Everything is under control, and I take advantage of the home delivery of meals. I’ve tried all the dishes and appreciate the tremendous selection.”

She gives the Life Enrichment team high praise for its perseverance and adaptation in bringing events to the residents. “We have so many choices, and I appreciate the aerobics opportunities, the music and dance events outside.”

During Active Aging Week, Liz participated in the brain training classes and the lecture on improving the immune system, but one live event brought a bit more normalcy to life at JKV.

“My favorite event was the Friday night soiree,” she said. “It was wonderful to have a great time while social distancing and meeting in-person with fellow residents and staff.”

Fellow resident Andrea Hipskind is one of the most active members of the JKV community. She is a frequent attendee to a variety of on-campus events. Active Aging Week gave Andrea the opportunity to expand her horizons.

“I signed up for everything that I could attend in person,” Andrea said. “I loved Carol Green’s Zoom cooking sessions. I always enjoy Mitch the Magician and I liked the decluttering class on Zoom.”

Mitch the Magician entertained in the Village Centre Auditorium with COVID-careful shows during Active Aging Week.

Mitch the Magician entertained in the Village Centre Auditorium with COVID-careful shows during Active Aging Week.

“The week of events was outstanding. Lots of kudos to the Life Enrichment team in figuring out how to do all this. It could not have been easy.”

“For example, Carol Green’s cooking sessions were Zoomed, so rather than watching Carol live in front of me, she was Zoomed right to the big screen in the Auditorium, where I could actually see her working even closer than if she were here in person.

“I loved the closing night’s soiree. It was a terrific time, meeting with each other again while social distancing. It was almost like being back to normal. It’s so great to laugh and engage, even while masked and at a distance of six feet. Laughter is the whole reason for my being right now, so Active Aging Week was the elixir that brought me joy and laughter.”

A message from Jamisyn Becker, JKV’s Life Enrichment Manager

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for participating in this week of events, whether in person or in the comfort of your homes on Zoom. I am especially proud and thankful to the Life Enrichment team—Yael Fishman, Bea St. Pierre, Jacquee Thompson and Nicholas Sconiers, and our Production and Events Manager, Teddy Tennie, who worked tirelessly to continue to think outside of the box and provide innovative programming during this unprecedented time. Thanks also to our Marketing team: Kim Morgan, Rob Seitz, Thomas Rodriguez, Mark Lewkowicz and Marty Lee working behind the scenes to create our collateral and capture the moments throughout the week on video and camera. It has been so great to be able to see each other in-person again and enjoy these moments together. Let us all raise our glass and toast to continuing to age actively together.”

To learn more about how John Knox Village is keeping members of our community safe, engaged and inspired during COVID-19, feel free to contact us. And if this resort-like lifestyle interests you, we invite you for a personalized, private, COVID-19-careful tour of our campus! Call 954-783-4040 today or click here to schedule your visit.

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