Wellness Wednesday: Keeping our most vulnerable connected at The Nottingham, despite pandemic isolation

Wellness Wednesday

JAMESVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The pandemic has been isolating for everyone but it’s been even more lonely for our most vulnerable, protected through isolation and distancing.

So, the Wellness and Fitness Coach at The Nottingham is making sure physical and mental health are still a priority.

Gentle yoga, walking, and a drum circle are just a few of the exercise classes Jessica Wood has been organizing since she joined The Nottingham in June.

Her goal is to make sure our neighbors’ parents, grandparents, and loved ones have a healthy escape from their isolated reality. Wood’s participants range in age from 60 to 100. They do anything from swimming to lifting weights, to drumming.

“It just creates a lively spark in them,” said Wood. It’s an outlet and a way to keep their body moving while burning off all that pandemic stress.

Wood built the foundation for these winter classes during the warm, summer months when they could be outside. She’s been determined to give them the same level of wellness during the colder months, even without the natural vitamin D.

For Wood, watching these residents dance it out, even in a chair, has been transforming.

“Any limitations that we’re feeling, we just put the music on and we move and drum.”

jessica wood

Though they have their own drum and their own sticks, they’re making music as a group. Wood says it has been helping them in more ways than one.

Being able to come together at least for exercise was able to obviously help their body through exercise, but even more importantly their mind.

Jessica Wood

It keeps them sharp and connected while lifting everyone’s spirits.

“The greatest part of working here and being able to actually interact face to face with the residents has been such a blessing for myself and for them,” said Wood.

Through exercise, they’ve created new friends and a family within the walls of The Nottingham.

It’s something Wood is proud to do, because social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation.

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