Move With Balance ProgramFrom Individual to Group Settings
Mentor Delivery System
Move With Balance® has an innovative mentor delivery system. The Move With Balance® activities can be performed alone or, as is more common, in pairs—volunteer mentor to frail elder, professional caregiver to patient, child to elder, or friend and friend as partners. Realizing that self-improvement regimens are only effective if they are practiced, we ﬁnd that this light- hearted context of social engagement works.
How Move With Balance® Works
Our culture expects older people to decline, not move—to be “set in their ways” and not try new things. But research has shown that the brain learns and changes throughout our lives. We have to exercise our brains to keep them growing. This is best done by coordinated movement—activities that combine movement with cognitive skills. For example, we move, but while we move we read, or recognize shapes, or recite a poem. Ideally, in a single activity we stimulate many senses—for example, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic at the same time. The underlying principle: challenge the brain and body simultaneously with some sensory-motor activity, repeat until the challenge becomes easier or even automatic, then up the stakes by repeating the activity at a higher level. We call this the “Progressive Challenge.”
The Move With Balance® activities are perfectly designed for solo use at any age, particularly all mobile, independent seniors who want to improve their balance, vision, coordination, and cognitive functions. Experience has taught us, however, that working with a partner or a group of friends will add zest and consistency to the discipline of regular practice.
This portion of our website speaks to any organization or individual who works one-on-one with elders—caregiver agencies, individual professionals, and physical therapists, for example. Skilled professionals can adapt the Move With Balance® program to the needs and constraints of any single therapeutic session.
Our entire program evolved through the application of this kind of service. For someone with the enthusiasm and passion to help elders, the decision to lead large groups has proven to be deeply satisfying. Opportunities for such positive applications are everywhere. They include senior centers and housing complexes, lunch sites, exercise rooms, assisted living facilities, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, and adult daycare centers. Find out more on implementing this program in larger settings as a Group Leader.