Bicycling, farm programs win Promising Practices Awards

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Westhills Village and A Plus Health Care are the winners of Mather LifeWays Promising Practices Awards.

The annual awards honor “organizations that are moving away from conventional practices by developing and implementing new and innovative approaches in aging well, long-term care and senior living communities,” according to Mather LifeWays.

“Sharing these ‘next practices' reinforces our commitment to encouraging innovation that improves programs and services for older adults,” Mary Leary, president and CEO of Mather LifeWays, said in a statement. “We hope these groundbreaking programs and ideas will benefit the senior living industry, as other organizations adapt the ideas and help transform them into best practices.”

Westhills Village is a continuing care retirement / life plan community in Rapid City, SD. The community offers independent living residents the opportunity to ride bicycles through a program involving balance-enhancing, no-pedal bikes. Fitness surveys showed major improvements for some who rode the special bikes designed for people with balance issues.

A Plus Health Care, Kallispell, MT, implemented a program for its home care clients through Lifeside Farms. It brings homebound older adults and developmentally disabled youth to area farms, where they can participate in light chores, enjoy a healthful lunch and socialize. The program is designed to encourage physical and social activities and impart a sense of purpose to participants, improving their health, quality of life and community inclusion.

A report on the 2015 Promising Practices winners and honorable mentions, “Innovation at Work,” is available for download.

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