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Gerry’s amazement – the wrist of the story

January 25, 2009

Keep in mind that when you teach in assisted living center you run across all sorts of personalities.  Your participants are a cross section of class, religious and ethnic  backgrounds and in a wide range of older ages.  Mix in the fact that these folks have been around and are set in their ways, you never know what you will be told or what you will hear in conversation.

Gerry, a women in her mid 90’s is one of my favorite ladies out of the 60 or so I see on a regular basis.  Outspoken, funny and full of pep, she has told me she plans on outliving her sisters age. Her sister had lived to 102 before passing  a few years ago.

I asked what keeps her going and active. Turns out is is her knitting habit.  I also asked why she came to my class.  She said to help her reach her goal.  She also mentioned that she was having more and more issues with hand strength. She wanted to see if the exercises in my class could help with her hands and to help keep her knitting.

Gerry has been coming to every class,  twice a month for  7 months now. A month or so ago she came to class and did not seem quite herself.  The smile was there but not quite as bright. Not saying much, she sat and participated in all the exercises. As class progressed I could see some of her spark coming back. The smirk of a smile getting back to it’s wider normal grin.  Still, she did not say much.

At the end of class, as I questioned the class on how they felt,  was it too hard or too easy or what else they would like to do in class,  Gerry just sat,  turning her wrist one way then another.  Looking at me and going back to her wrist. Rolling it, opening and closing her hand with wide eyes and a smile.

I had to ask “Gerry,  what is going on today?”. She looked at me and said something to the effect of, “I could not move my wrist or open and close my hand for a few days. Now I can do all my normal movements.  When are you coming back again? I need to complete a few scarves!”

She continues to come to class and tells me that she practices the hand and wrist exercises between my visits.  I am also now the proud owner of one her scarf projects. Made special in appreciation and in friendship.

Do you have physical issues that have improved by increasing your level of exercise and movement?

One Comment
  1. Marc A. Wolfe permalink

    Isn’t it amazing how a woman of 90 years can be more focused than someone half her age. She has a goal of extending her life and doing it with the hobbies she enjoys. If we could just look at how it is not where you physically are (a nursing home in her case) but where she wants to be (alive and doing what she enjoys). By appreciating movement (a critical part) and taking in your exercise method she is happier and I bet you are too.


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