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Event encourages active aging

Kayaking, paddle boarding, Zumba, brain exercises

By Angie Landsverk

“Live Your Adventure” is the theme of a free event that encourages people to be active as they age.

The week of Sept. 27 is “Active Aging Week,” and those who are 50 and over are invited to Waupaca’s South Park on Tuesday, Sept. 29, for lunch and the opportunity to try different activities.

The event is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, in the park’s upper pavilion.

The rain date is Thursday, Oct. 1.

“We’re really catering to that 50 and older group,” said Sarah Halstead, who does social outreach at Bethany Home.

Bethany Home is partnering with Adventure Outfitters and the Waupaca Senior Center to host the event.

Senior center fitness instructors are going to lead Zumba classes.

Experience is not required, and adaptations are going to be offered for those who have physical limitations.

Adventure Outfitters, of downtown Waupaca, is offering kayaking and paddle boarding demonstrations and lessons, at South Park’s beach.

Bethany Home is providing a healthy lunch.

Halstead said people are welcome to stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

She describes the event as an open house, which is also going to include a walking challenge, brain building exercises and more than $500 in prizes.

Traditionally, Bethany Home celebrated “National Nursing Home Week” with events for residents and their families.

As the nonprofit prepared for its upcoming building project, it recognized that many people continue to think of Bethany as just a nursing home, Halstead said.

“We are so much more than that,” she said. “Bethany wants to encourage independence and a high quality of life for whatever stage people are in their lives.”

Next week’s event includes the social, mental and physical aspects of active aging.

“We have a lot of people who love to do these types of things,” Halstead said of the activities being offered at the event.

She said others are interested in trying new activities but feel intimidated at the thought of actually doing so, especially by themselves.

The active aging event is meant to provide a safe and supportive atmosphere where they are able to try activities, Halstead said.

People may call 715-258-5521 for more information or to RSVP for the event.

Halstead said if the response to this year’s event is great, they want to expand it next year.

“Bring a friend. Come together. Give it a try,” she said. “It might turn into something that you love.”

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