The Residents at The Arbors Independent Living are getting an assist in staying active.
VHS Rehabilitation tech Kim Kutscher leads a chair exercise class with a group of Residents daily in The Arbors community room.
“It’s a head-to-toe program with cardio,” she says. “A true power half-hour!”
Kutscher, who has been with Virginia Health Services for 17 years, also leads a class twice a week at The Hamilton Assisted Living in York County.
“It’s booming right now,” she said. “There’s quite a few who come to class on a regular basis.”
There are about 10 for Kutscher’s class at The Arbors on a recent weekday morning. Some arrive early to chat with her and get their pick of seats in the community room.
Kutscher said the benefit of group classes is a camaraderie develops among the participants. Some participants who have caregivers are sometimes assisted as they go through the exercises.
The Arbors Residents, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, hang onto their equipment: a theraband, ball and hand weights. Kutscher said some Residents use the equipment and exercise sheet she provides to continue their work on the weekends.
If one-on-one therapy is needed, participants are encouraged to use VHS Rehab and VHS Home Health Care. Kutscher strictly provides group sessions, seeking the advice of VHS physical therapists about adding certain exercises to the program when needed.
She says that if someone is seated for long periods of time, even if they aren’t in class, they should focus on ankle and leg work “to keep them strengthening and prevent atrophy.” Muscles can get weak, making it difficult to move from a seated to a standing position.
Her class works from the feet up, all the way through finger movement, shoulder rolls and deep breaths to close out the class.