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Presbyterian Village North (PVN), a senior living community in Dallas, scheduled a myriad of special events, activities and educational opportunities for residents in recognition of Active Aging Week. This is in addition to a robust fitness and activities program the community regularly provides to its residents. Active Aging Week is part of a national effort to promote the benefits of leading an active, healthy lifestyle. This year’s active aging celebration ran from September 21-27. PVN had a series of engaging, insightful and dynamic events scheduled for residents to enjoy, such as an outdoor tai chi class, a healthy cooking demonstration, a presentation on chiropractic therapy, a financial seminar on identity theft, sunrise devotionals and more. Events like these are part of the reason why the retirement community is one of the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. 

“Active Aging Week is one of our favorite annual celebrations,” said Lisa Englander, independent living life enrichment manager for PVN. “Each year we aim to schedule different activities, educational opportunities and outings geared toward healthy living. We have an active, fun bunch here at PVN, and they have a zeal for healthy living.”

“I have lost seven pounds in the last year by changing the way that I eat,” said Venetta Cronin, a resident of PVN. “I enjoyed attending the nutritional presentation and was able to pick up some helpful tips on eating the right foods. I also watched the cooking demonstration. Our chef does a wonderful job of explaining the use of each food item and its benefits during the demonstrations. I regularly participate in the tai chi class, which is typically held indoors. Having the class outside was a nice change, especially with the cool weather we have been experiencing.”

Cronin exercises Monday through Friday, taking advantage of all the different classes that PVN offers. On Mondays, she participates in tai chi, on Tuesdays and Thursdays she does osteofit, which is a balance and strength training class and on Wednesdays and Fridays she takes yoga.  The osteofit class is her absolute favorite, as the class exercises constantly change. Shannon Radford, wellness manager for PVN, has a degree in exercise physiology and designs classes that meet a variety of interests and different levels of physical stamina.  She is attentive to everyone’s individual needs.

“Staying active keeps you healthy and gives you more energy,” said Cronin. “If you don’t use your muscles consistently, you can experience atrophy. When I was younger I didn’t exercise as much, I was active as a child and played tennis as a young adult, and when I had children I was busy chasing them around. I developed exercise habits later on to maintain that level of activity. I believe your brain works better when you move around, and the classes at PVN are really fun. 

The Active Aging Week events began on September 22, with a sunrise devotional with Brent Ashby, associate minister of spiritual life of PVN. Later that day, residents had the opportunity to participate in an outdoor tai chi class and/or go to Seasons 52 for lunch. On Tuesday, residents attended a bible outburst activity, featuring a game of biblical verse knowledge. At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the community’s chef led a healthy cooking demonstration. On Wednesday at 2 p.m., PVN held a nutritional discussion on healthy eating. Thursday featured a lunch and learn with a presentation on senior identity theft. On Friday, residents attended a “No Falls in the Fall” educational fall prevention class. Saturday wrapped up the week’s festivities with a special discussion on the benefits of chiropractic therapy featuring Holly Cunningham from Parker College of Chiropractic at UT Southwestern.

“I took extra chiropractic classes to learn techniques that are beneficial for active seniors and was delighted to lead a discussion on chiropractic therapy at PVN,” said Cunningham. “Chiropractors work with the nervous system of the body to make sure that every cell and organ receives optimal function. I help seniors regularly in the clinic and active seniors are dear to my heart. My grandfather was 82 when he first started chiropractic care. Before starting care, he was in the hospital at least once a year because of pneumonia. Once he started chiropractic care, he went 15 years without being in the hospital and was able to do all his normal activities of driving, bush hogging fields and gardening. It was wonderful being able to share his story of success with fellow active seniors.”