Thanks in part to generous donations from our community, Golden West residents have been enjoying the results of a major upgrade to our therapy gym and wellness center.
We recently purchased several new pieces of gym equipment with age-appropriate features: one treadmill, two bikes for cardiovascular exercise, one cable pull weight machine for strength training, and one mat table for stretching, paid for in part with the fundraising proceeds of our non-profit arm, the Golden West Foundation. Other equipment in the updated wellness center includes a sitting elliptical machine, and handheld equipment like dumbbells and TheraBands.
In addition to new gym equipment, our wellness center has also undergone significant physical updates as part of Golden West’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and Renovation Project. These substantial updates to both our equipment and the space itself will benefit not only the residents who currently use Legacy’s physical and occupational therapy services, but residents who want to come in and exercise on their own during open gym hours.
One person who was highly involved in planning the update was LeoraGarcia, Rehab Director at Legacy Healthcare Services, a long-time partner of Golden West that provides outpatient, occupational, physical and speech therapy services for our residents through Medicare part B.
Therapists from Legacy, which also supports Golden West’s overall wellness programming, have been conducting sessions out of Golden West’s therapy gym for years, and they were among those given a chance to offer suggestions for the new gym, said Leora.
“[Golden West CEO] John McCarthy highly involved us in the process of selecting and getting the equipment that we thought would serve the whole population of Golden West the best but that would also align with what we do with our residents for therapy,” said Leora. “We spent quite a bit of time going through different equipment options and trying to figure out the most user-friendly, which were easiest to get on and off of, and making sure the interfaces weren’t too complicated.”
One major improvement in the wellness room that arose is a large window that connects the therapy office to the actual gym, which will allow additional therapists to monitor residents. Other improvements include a new water bottle filling station, a redesigned layout that makes the space feel larger, and another large window so residents can view the outdoors as they work out.
Quality wellness centers like Golden West’s are beneficial for many reasons, said Leora. They serve as spaces for impromptu social interactions, which are especially important after a year of pandemic restrictions; a well-equipped gym also allows residents to exercise safely when the weather is bad.
“Exercise is medicine and helps seniors to age successfully ‘in place’ at Golden West, so this equipment will be a huge asset to the community,” Leora said. “The population here is very vibrant, and residents value staying active physically and cognitively. Having these upgraded resources helps keep people healthy so they don’t have hospital visits, so they don’t start down the path of needing more and more help, and they can stay as independent and active as possible throughout their senior years.”