Foundation of America

Move with Balance, Paia, Hawaii

Karen Peterson founded Move with Balance, an exercise program designed to help prevent falls and falls-related injuries in seniors in 2005. Upon receiving a grant from Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Peterson set about creating a version of Move with Balance designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

For this program, Move with Balance teamed with Maui Adult Day Care, to recruit 10 seniors who have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and also recruited 10 loving and compassionate fit seniors to serve as their mentors. Each class begins with a 10-minute icebreaker. Mentees arrive and sit at a coloring table with their mentors participating in activities such as writing with both hands at the same time. This gives mentees a chance to connect with their mentors before heading into the classroom setting for the main program.

The mentees feel safe with their mentors and have formed warm and caring relationships. Many recognize their mentors week after week.

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