Giving Back®The foundation and non-profit of the Move With Balance® Program
Move With Balance® Demos
Karen and Bill joined forces in 2014. When they are not teaching classes on Maui, they love traveling to promote Move With Balance® w, Karen’s books and videos and Bill’s original songs and music. Their hour-long demo includes a demonstration of several innovative exercises along with live music. Seniors immediately feel the benefits. Be ready to participate and have fun!
Demo Tour 2016
Portugal: 3 Adult Day Care Centers for Alzheimer’s/Dementia
Demo Tour 2015
Bend, OR, Touchmark, CCRC.
Kauai’i, HI, Department of Health training.
Demo Tour 2014
Sedona, AZ, Senior Center.
Phoenix, AZ, Changing Hands bookstore, book signing and demo.
Maui, HI, Ritz Carlton, demo for the NFL wives.
Let us know if you’d like us to stop by when we are in your neighborhood.
Karen Peterson M.A. is the Executive Director of Giving Back and founder of Move With Balance®. Since 1987 Karen has taught children, business people, teachers, and adults movement activities that helped improve vision, coordination, and focus. She found her passion when in 1994 she walked into a senior center, and began teaching movement exercises daily to senior citizens. She has been teaching elders ever since.
In 1999 Karen taught a pilot of the elder/child intergenerational mentoring program at a local elementary school. “It was beautiful to see. The elders mentoring the children”, says Karen. The program was hugely successful, and so she continued.
In the meantime, Karen was becoming an active elder herself. She was just coming into her own highest creativity, and wanted others approaching elderhood to feel and utilize their surge of creativity. Karen wanted others to experience the elder years with health and vitality.
Karen says, “I saw how vibrant and full of wisdom most of them were. I was sure that others of my generation would want to share their gifts, enthusiasm, and vitality with their communities, especially with those older and less vigorous than they.” Hence, in 2000 she founded Giving Back, a 501(c)3 non profit with opportunities for fit elders to “give back” to their communities.
Karen loves teaching older adults, who, she believes have many gifts, are a vitally important resource, and need to be integrated into the fabric of our society. Seniors are motivated, joyful, appreciative, committed, and humble – the perfect students.
Karen has been implementing Move With Balance®, her program where fit elders mentor frail elders since 2005, and has established herself in the industry, not only with awards, but also with her association among key people working for fall prevention and brain health on both national and state levels.
In 2013 she published the book “Move With Balance®: Healthy Aging Activities for Brain and Body” along with 60 online videos. Nine training videos became available in 2015 so that others can replicate this award-winning, evidence-based program.
Currently, Karen has trained over 1,100 mentees and 500 mentors on Maui. Karen says, “My inspiration for
all this work has been the memory of my own grandmother, Gammy. We bonded closely, and she became an important mentor for me.”
In 2014 William “Bill” Fuller, MA, a lifelong Musician / Songwriter / Sound Engineer, visited a Move With Balance® class. He was amazed how joyfully the seniors responded to the movement exercises. He could see many changes and benefits for the seniors in just one class.
He specifically wrote two songs for Move With Balance®, which have since become their trademark theme songs. Bill has written over 100 original songs, and is integrating his songs into the Move With Balance® with Music for Alzheimer’s/Dementia program. “I really enjoy seeing the elders respond so positively to the songs I have written.”
Bill enjoys working with Giving Back because he believes in its mission—elders “giving back” the precious gifts of their life’s experience to their communities.
Bill has a background as an electronic engineer working in Silicon Valley. He has a passion for creating video as art. In addition to his music, he is able to fulfill that passion with his contribution to Move With Balance®. He is integrating music into the original Move With Balance®
About Giving Back®
In 1994 Karen Peterson started the program that developed into the current Move With Balance®. She founded the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency Giving Back in 2000. At first, Giving Back® focused on intergenerational pairings of seniors with schoolchildren. But the efficacy of and need for this work with frail elders has become the nonprofit’s primary mission. Move With Balance® is a program in Giving Back.
Seniors Mentoring School Children:
For nine years Giving Back operated an intergenerational mentoring program, which paired senior citizen volunteer mentors with children in need of tutoring and/or mentoring at various sites in the community.
Seniors Mentoring Frail Elders:
In 2005, Maui Long Term Care Partnership asked Giving Back to expand their mentoring program to include healthy, fit seniors mentoring frail, at-risk elders. Thus, was born Move With Balance®, which is ongoing on Maui, and now being replicated in many places beyond.
Seniors Mentoring Alzheimer’s/Dementia Elders
In 2015 Karen and Bill joined together to create Move With Balance® with Music for Alzheimer’s/Dementia. They received the clients from Maui Adult Day Care, and paired each one with a volunteer mentor. The program was amazingly successful, and a special Alzheimer’s curriculum and music are available.