Sunset enjoys collaborating with other nonprofits, especially when it benefits the people and communities we serve. We have an ongoing partnership with Grand Valley State University, specifically with their Recreational Therapy program. Recently, we had the opportunity to work with a company called Life Therapeutic Solutions in partnership with GVSU to offer our residents a specialized pool therapy class.
Who are Life Therapeutic Solutions?
Life Therapeutic Solutions (LTS) is an organization with a mission to provide recreational therapy services to enhance the overall quality of life for the individuals they serve. These individuals range in age from infants to seniors, with varying degrees of ability. LTS provides their clients with several services, one of which is Aquatic Therapy.
Kristine Schwab, CTRS, ATRIC (owner of Life Therapeutic Solutions) talks about the origins of the organization, saying: “As a Recreational Therapist working in a rehabilitation hospital, I found that we were having less and less time working with individuals prior to [them] going home. I felt that if I could work with individuals in their own home on leisure skills, they would be more successful. Thus, LTS was developed. Through LTS, we work one on one with individuals in their own home and communities to help them gain the skills and independence to participate in leisure activities and to contribute to their own wellness journey.”
Bringing Everyone Together
Our Life Enrichment Director at Sunset Manor & Villages, Nick Wahl, is also an adjunct professor at GVSU in their Recreational Therapy department. Nick and his co-professor thought collaboration between Sunset and LTS would be a great way for their students to experience firsthand the effectiveness of aquatic therapy for seniors.
The team from LTS and the GVSU students came to our Aquatic Center at the Manor & Villages where some of our Independent Living residents were able to participate in the activity. LTS showed the students different therapy techniques in the pool that benefit ailments many seniors experience. Kristine shared that “We really enjoyed working with GVSU students as well as Sunset residents on the aquatics and technology. We feel that learning is best through hands-on experiences and who better to learn from than our older adult community?”
Benefits of Aquatic Therapy
Studies show Aquatic Therapy can be beneficial to seniors with a variety of conditions, including Dementia, chronic pain & arthritis, and those who are post-stroke. Aquatic Therapy provides benefits such as improved balance & coordination, increased range of motion, and improved muscle strength—all things that are incredibly important for seniors. In addition to the numerous health benefits, there was another positive side effect: all of the smiles! As you can see from the photos, our residents had a wonderful time participating in this event.