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The Birches Assisted Living

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Movement Mattered at The Birches This May

The Birches Assisted Living took part in a month-long campaign called “Movement Matters,” which was created by the healthy aging organization Masterpiece Living to encourage everyone to move more often and with a greater sense of purpose.

Clarendon Hills, IL, May 29, 2016 --( With the weather warming, it’s the perfect time to get out and move your way toward better health— which is exactly what residents and associates of The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills, Ill. did throughout the entire month of May.

The Birches community took part in a month-long campaign called “Movement Matters,” which was created by the healthy aging organization Masterpiece Living to encourage everyone to move more often and with a greater sense of purpose.
But moving more doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run a marathon or even attend an exercise class; it’s those simple day-to-day activities that make all the difference in your health, says Birches Activities Director Katie Klitchman.

“’Movement Matters’ is great because anybody can do it. You don’t have to be in the best shape or even in good shape. All you need is a desire to improve your health and a willingness to move a little bit more every day,” said Klitchman.

The “Movement Matters” campaign also encourages participants to set specific goals that help them boost their physical activity levels and overall health, which is why residents and associates at The Birches completed a wellness pledge and posted it on a pledge board.

“The wellness pledge is an important part of ‘Movement Matters’ because it helps you stay accountable and achieve your goals. It also makes it easier for others to inspire and encourage one another to keep moving,” said Birches’ Executive Director Jackie Foss.

For Birches residents, their goals for “Movement Matters” could be as simple as walking an additional 10 minutes per day or eating one more healthy meal per week. And for those who want to find new and exciting ways to move more, The Birches developed a full calendar of movement-related activities that are fun but still accessible to everybody, regardless of fitness level.

On May 5, for example, residents celebrated Cinco de Mayo by breaking open a piñata, which was great exercise for everybody— not to mention a lot of fun. Throughout the month, residents also took an afternoon walk to the nearby restaurant The Country House for lunch, played balloon volleyball, danced to songs like the Chicken Dance and YMCA, walked the catwalk in a fashion show, played Bingo with a physical twist, gardened, danced the night away at “Senior” Prom and participated in a family pet walk.

This year, The Birches’ “Movement Matters” campaign also had a philanthropic component. Jill Fishella, the daughter of Birches resident Bill Buckley and owner of Unique Balloon Decoration in Willowbrook, created balloon bouquets for Mother’s Day and sold them to members of The Birches community to raise money for the Share Your Soles Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides shoes to people in need.

This philanthropic component served as a reminder that “Movement Matters” is about overall health, which includes social, intellectual and spiritual health— not just physical health. That said, physical health is often closely tied to health in these other areas too. A healthy body also promotes a healthy mind, social life and spirit. And it all starts with a little bit of movement, says The Birches’ Director of Nursing Tina Stasukewicz.

“It’s really a simple concept, but it’s so effective at improving your health in every way,” said Stasukewicz. “Sometimes we hold ourselves back by thinking we have to participate in intense exercise to make any impact, but that’s just not true. It’s the small movements that we make daily that have the biggest impact on our lives and our health.”

The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills offers professional services to support the physical, social, intellectual and spiritual growth of the older adults who make it their home. The Birches offers purposeful programming and activities designed to promote a healthy aging lifestyle and a strong sense of community. For more information about The Birches, call 630-789-1135 or visit:
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The Birches Assisted Living
Jenny Smiechowski

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