Healthy Active Aging
Meet Christine. She’s a LiveWell specialist here at the YMCA, and she has a passion for helping older adults shine.
“I always knew I wanted to work with people with chronic health issues, particularly older adults. I often feel that it was just meant to be for me to work with this population. I love it and I find it extremely rewarding,” she says.
LiveWell is a series of rehabilitation, prevention and education programs done in partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University that helps a wide range of people from stroke survivors and those living with heart disease to members of our community who have neurological conditions like Parkinson’s Disease.
Christine says the program and the specialists who run them help meet each participant’s individual needs to reignite their potential following a life-altering event or diagnosis. This means supporting them in their journey physically and emotionally.
“For me it’s a calling. When I walk into a room, I’m working with such a variety of people. It could be a 90-year-old trying to maintain muscle mass and a 65-year-old who just had a stroke, or someone who has Parkinson’s or MS and I have to figure out a way to unify that group and make sure they’re all getting something out of the class,” says Christine.
As a mother and grandmother Christine is herself an example of healthy active aging. She understands the importance of being active in your later years and says the goal for many of these people is just to be able go about their lives without pain, to be able to get up off the couch. They’re looking to feel good in their bodies again, to live well.
“A simple goal for many of these people is ‘don’t get worse,” says Christine.
More than just a safe space to take care of their physical bodies, Christine says the YMCA is also a place that provides community and offers a guiding light in times of struggle.
“It’s about being able to help people emotionally, being able to give people hope. Showing them that they can do this, that they can make their life better.”
Christine is a spark, being her authentic self and igniting potential in older adults in our community.
You can meet Christine and our other amazing YMCA staff at the seniors healthy living fair at Ron Edwards on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday, February 14, 2024.