Touchmark Retirement Community finds a new way to bring fitness to their residents

Posted at 4:19 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 23:51:17-04

BOISE — Exercise is essential, especially to the seniors at Touchmark Retirement Community, but with their regular fitness classes canceled, they are bringing workouts to the resident's driveways.

Every day at 2 p.m., Touchmark's health and fitness team, along with their mascot, Spuddy, choose a street in their single resident homes for social distancing exercise.

"It's a really cool way for them to exercise with us like they normally would in an aerobic setting, and to engage with their neighbors, obviously while still physically distancing themselves," said Touchmark's Resident Services Director, Aaron Kidder.

The residents stand in their driveways as an instructor leads them through a workout. Spuddy and the rest of the staff cheer them on, which has Touchmark resident, Judy Brown, very grateful.

"Just being able to get out in the fresh air and sunshine, and you're not putting anyone else in danger or yourself in danger," said Brown. "I thoroughly enjoy being outdoors anyway, so it is kind of icing on the cake to be able to exercise in those conditions."

It's not only an opportunity for exercise, but with social distancing having some people feeling isolated, it's also a time for these residents to interact socially, something Brown misses a lot.

"I love just being able to see other people and laughing and talking with them," said Brown. "It's fun things like that that make you feel a part of a whole even though you're feeling very isolated during this time."

However, exercise isn't the only thing Touchmark is using to make sure its residents are staying connected and healthy. Brown said they also had a live jazz band perform in their streets for residents to sing and dance to in their driveways, as well as many other activities.

"It's really important for us to keep coming up with creative and fun ways to keep everyone socially engaged while remaining physically distant," said Kidder. "Our team members have a great time with it, and it's a really neat experience to be able to change our operations and still be able to enrich these people's lives every day."