Aging Well: Everyone invited to celebrate new Haven addition | CraigDailyPress.com

Aging Well: Everyone invited to celebrate new Haven addition

Tamera Manzanares

A large community room, which can be subdivided into three smaller spaces, is among amenities that are part of the completed expansion of The Haven Assisted Living Center. The rooms will host Aging Well exercise classes and activities and also will be available on a rental basis to the community.

Not too long ago, the Yampa Valley’s only assisted living facility was in danger of closing.

When the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association acquired The Haven in 2005, the VNA not only protected an important longterm care option – it seized an opportunity to expand older adult services while engaging the community in the process.

The result of that vision is an expanded Haven facility that will host multiple programs helping older adults become happier and healthier as they age, as well as provide space for community meetings and activities.

“I think it’s a secret that’s about to be well-known,” Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin said. “The utilization of that building is going to be huge in a community like this.”

Hayden-area residents will have the opportunity to see the finished product for themselves during a grand opening and holiday celebration at The Haven on Friday.

The expansion includes a large community room with partitions allowing the space to be divided into three smaller spaces. Although rental fees have not been finalized, they likely will vary for different events, said Donna Hackley, special projects coordinator with the VNA’s Aging Well program.

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The community rooms will provide more comfortable and practical areas for meetings and activities that may be too large for the Hayden Town Hall but not big enough for the much larger exhibit hall at the Routt County Fairgrounds, Martin said.

Some area businesses already have scheduled their holiday parties at the venue.

“I would encourage people to go to the open house, because they have no idea what they’ve been without,” he said.

In addition to providing a gathering place for people of all ages, the Haven community center will accommodate healthy aging activities for adults ages 50 and older who hope to prevent disease or to better manage their conditions to remain healthy.

These programs include fitness classes such as Arthritis Foundation exercise and Tai Chi, which have been proven to prevent or ease arthritis symptoms, and N’Balance fall prevention.

A wide, concrete walking loop, which will be constructed next year in the courtyard, as well as abundant landscaping, will provide additional opportunities for exercise and relaxation for individuals of all fitness levels, including those with wheelchairs and walkers.

In addition to staying physically fit, healthy aging includes staying mentally fit by engaging in new or fun activities and interacting with others. That’s why the VNA’s Aging Well staff plans to implement Wellness Days at The Haven.

Similar to Wellness Wednesdays in Craig, the program will involve a full day of activities every week for older adults. These activities will include lunch and exercise, as well as arts, crafts and other educational classes offered by Colorado Northwestern Community College and other local organizations.

Wellness Days will start in January at The Haven. Activities such as fitness classes and lunch will be free or involve a small fee. Officials at Colorado Northwestern Community College are looking at the possibility of offering reduced fees for people interested in participating in memoir writing and other CNCC classes at Hayden Wellness Days.

The VNA’s Aging Well program aims to help older adults in all types of situations. This includes the growing number of families who, because of a variety of factors – such as family obligation, increasing healthcare costs and a lack of longterm care facilities – are caring for elderly family members at home.

An adult day services program, which will be housed in The Haven expansion starting in January, will help ease the stress, guilt and worry that can befall families who juggle work and other responsibilities with caregiving.

The program will provide care for older adults who have Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illness and disabilities in a safe daytime environment that will include meals, help with bathing and personal needs and engaging activities. There also will be certified nursing assistants on staff to monitor blood pressure and other health indicators and administer medications.

Eight daily spots are available in the program, which will operate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Candidates also include younger adults with mental disabilities.

Overall, VNA and Haven staff hope the combination of healthy aging programs and community activities will encourage an intergenerational atmosphere where residents of all ages can learn about and appreciate each other.

Tamera Manzanares writes for the Aging Well program and can be reached at tammarie74@yahoo.com. Aging Well, a division of Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, is a community-based program of healthy aging for adults 50 and older. For more information or to view past articles, log onto http://www.agingwelltoday.com or call 871-7676.

If you go

The Haven Community Center Grand Opening and Holiday Celebration will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday in the new community room. The celebration will feature refreshments and entertainment.

Rental fees for the new community room at The Haven have not been finalized. For information about reserving the space for meetings, parties or activities, call Kathy Lozinsky at 276-4484.

The Haven is accepting reservations for its adult day services program. The program, which will open in January, will provide daytime activities, care and meals for older and/or disabled adults. For more information, call Karen Burley at 276-1414.