KLIPSAN BEACH - The answer has to involve a color, the question is, "If you were feeling good, you would be in the what?" The members of the Brain Yoga class shout, "In the pink." Feeling embarrassed is red. A rookie or someone new at something is a green horn, and so on.
D.J. Bogue, activity director at Golden Sands Assisted Living at Klipsan Beach is facilitating a class she calls Brain Yoga and five residents are actively participating. The fact that two suffer from varying degrees of Alzheimer's doesn't affect the residents' lightning quick answers or more importantly their ability to enjoy the competition and each other's company.
"What color at the stop light means go ahead?" Bogue, who is also a local realtor, asks. "Green," the group shouts. Vi McBurnay states, "It's been so long since I've driven a car I could hardly remember." The others laugh. Later there is a question that involves answers with birds. "What is it called when you make three strikes in a row in bowling?" Gretta Fletcher says, "You're out, but no, that's baseball." After some pondering, Ida Wulf queries, "A turkey?"
When Bogue tells her she is correct, Wulf relates, "I've been meaning to bowl for four years and last week I actually tried it and I rolled a 93. That's the best I've ever done and I used to bowl all the time." Bowling is another of the dozens of activities available to residents at Golden Sands. The pins and ball are smaller than regulation and 2x6 boards are used as bumpers, but the game is the same.
The goal of the Wellness Program at Golden Sands is to keep residents active, happy and involved with others. "By pursuing activities they enjoy the quality of life is much improved and residents are more motivated. I interview each resident and find out what they like to do. When we get two or three people interested in something we schedule a class or activity to meet their needs and interest," Bogue says. "Brain Yoga was one idea and I have to admit thinking up questions each week for class keeps my mind sharp, too. The residents who participate have grown in their ability to answer the questions so much and they really enjoy competing and each other's support."
Other activities include exercise classes, weekly outings, walks on the fitness trail, art class, beading class, nail salon, committees, Bible study, Bingo, church worship services, socials, movies, parties, discussion groups, pet visits and visits from Ocean Park Elementary students.
"We used to have a drum circle, but we got too loud," Bogue laughs. "Some of our parties get pretty wild. Like last St. Patrick's Day we decorated the activities room like a tavern and drank non-alcohol beer. We appreciate (Ocean Park Community Church) Pastor Marty Cole and his worship services and having the school kids come for visits. Marty sang tavern songs with the residents on St. Patrick's Day and it was really fun."
Bogue says, "Horse racing can get pretty exciting, too. We use colored dice and each resident has his or her favorite horse they race and cheer around our huge oval track. And then Barbara Bate comes and plays 'Name that Tune' with the residents. There is something for everyone."
In the past residents of Golden Sands have written a romance novel and one of their next outings will be to the new Dollar Wave Plus Store at Klipsan Beach. "The community has been great in supporting our activities," Bogue praises.
Open house Jan. 21As a way of saying thanks Golden Sands will have an open house on Wednesday, Jan. 21 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The public is invited to enjoy cake and refreshments and to tour the facility. The address is 21608 "O" Lane, south of Ocean Park, and just east of Highway 103.
The open house is part of National Activity Professionals (NAP) Week, which runs from Jan. 18 to 23. NAP says its professionals are a very important part of the care team and they contribute significantly to resident's quality of life in a variety of settings including retirement communities, nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and senior centers.
NAP says, "Our professionals create opportunities for residents to become engaged in meaningful, leisure interests, truly putting quality into residents' lives. One only has to stop and think for a moment about what brings pleasure to you in your day and what it would be like in the absence of having these things to look forward to and the enjoyment that you derive from doing them. Activity professionals provide opportunities for residents to continue to feel needed, useful and to give them a sense of purpose in life."
Wellness Director Pam Fox of Golden Sands says, "We are glad to honor D.J. Bogue during National Activities Professionals week. With her background in social work and as a lay pastor she has been a wonderful asset to the Wellness Program at Golden Sands. The residents are especially fond of her. Her Monday Bible study has been a popular activity the residents look forward to."
Golden Sands Administrative Manager Mary Storm adds, "We are grateful to D.J. for the many contacts she has made in the community and for the great job she does here with the residents." Bogue says, "I love working with the residents. They are beautiful people, so loving and giving. They give me so much in return."
The final bird question involves a color, as well. Bogue asks, "What goes bobbin' along?" The quintet of Brain Yoga players burst into song, "The Red, Red Robin goes Bob-bob-bobbin' Along." Margaret Whittmayer says proudly, "We are so good." Rosemary Wolfe adds with a soft smile, "This is fun."
The ladies are feeling like "bluebirds who are in the pink" as they leave for lunch.