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Susquehanna Life

Wellness Program Sets RiverWoods Apart

Mar 30, 2018 09:19PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
The Wellness Program at RiverWoods Senior Living Community includes seven facets: social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical. Achieving better health for residents and staff takes more than just offering fitness centers and classes, it means targeting every area of wellness.
Wellness is the active process of making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is crucial to living a higher quality life. Cookie Connolly, Community Enrichment Director, along with Taryn Wilk, Community Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at RiverWoods, are constantly seeking ways to improve RiverWoods’ programs and event for that promote different aspects of wellness. Together, they collaborate with other staff members to improve, create and evaluate wellness offerings campus wide. “When it comes to taking care of your mind, body and soul, RiverWoods has an abundant selection of offerings for both residents and staff,” Connolly said. “Everyone on campus can benefit from participating in the wellness program which already has so much to offer.” For example, the private fitness center and indoor heated swimming pool provide numerous opportunities for engagement.

Participants receive a personalized workout routine based on individual needs and capabilities and are trained to properly use each piece of equipment. The pool offers a way to work out that is easy on the joints, while toning muscles and increasing flexibility. The pool is staffed full time by a certified aquatics instructor and lifeguards for the variety of classes which are offered throughout the week.
RiverWoods also offers massage therapy services through our licensed massage therapist. Massage therapy is one of the oldest and most natural of the healing arts and has been used for thousands of years to ease muscle pain, reduce stress and promote long term wellness.
For outdoor enthusiasts, RiverWoods offers a 1.5 mile paved walking path. Thanks to a generous gift from Playworld Systems, the path offers eight stations that provides strength training for older adults in a beautiful outdoor setting. The stations were designed by Playworld and American Fitness Professionals Association, and built for older adults to improve strength needed for everyday life activities.
And for those who prefer not to use equipment, a more holistic approach to fitness is offered through Tai Chi and yoga classes. In addition to working the body, the classes provide spiritual and mental strategies for improved health. Through motion, meditation and deep breathing, class participants reduce stress while improving flexibility and muscle strength.
On-campus physical therapy is another great offering. Albright Care Services partners with Functional Pathways, a national leader in rehabilitation and therapy management services, to provide the therapy program at RiverWoods. Functional Pathways offers person-centered care and strives to do what is in the best interest of residents. The therapy staff continuously works with residents to create innovative and exciting ways to achieve optimal health.
To function well, a body needs nourishment. Menu options at the RidgeCrest Restaurant on campus include gluten-free, small portion, and ‘Mindful’ selections. The Mindful program by Sodexo offers food choices to residents hungry for healthier options. It is an approach that focuses on fresh ingredients, delicious taste and satisfying portions so that making good choices becomes second nature.
Fresh salads, sandwiches, fruits and other healthy offerings are available in a grab-and-go cooler in the café at RidgeCrest.


As for mind and soul, residents can get involved on campus in many ways. Various socials for residents give them a chance to mingle, as do the variety of arts and cultural opportunities available weekly. A woodshop and art studio gives creative minds another way to get involved. Campus trips and a lecture series called Learn and Live offer residents opportunities to learn, engage and enjoy life together. Our residents are encouraged to take part in Bucknell’s Institute for LifeLong Learning, which provides educational opportunities to mature learners in the central Susquehanna community. Classes are held on campus in The Studio and in the Creative Arts Room in RidgeCrest.
Staff Chaplain Rev. Peter Geschwindner seeks to provide opportunities to meet the spiritual needs of residents and staff through worship services, Bible study groups and an ‘open ear’ willing to listen to the challenges and celebrations that life brings.
The Wellness Program at RiverWoods strives to allow residents to maintain independence and good health. Learn more about retirement options at RiverWoods by visiting

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