Live Wise helps people with Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association and the YMCA of Marquette County have teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind program to help those who are coping with the disease.

“Exercise, physical activity helps anything,” Senior Health Innovations leader Jenna Zdunek said.  “Just for them to be in the wellness center getting that exercise and they breath a little heavy.  Maybe they haven’t felt that in a long time, but it’s good for them, and we’re teaching them that’s okay.”

Participants of the Live Wise Program and their caregivers can benefit in many ways—including just the change of scenery.

“They are going to still have Alzheimer’s,” Zdunek said.  “But if we can make their quality of life better and make them feel better–and sleep better–and give caregivers guidance and support, and give them whatever they need, then that’s our goal.

“Its just been incredible to be able to do that.  Every week is a little different, every day is a little different and we just go with the flow of what they need.”

The participants get an opportunity to bond with people dealing with similar circumstances.  The program gets them active–in both body and mind.

“What’s good for your heart is good for your brain,” Alzheimer’s Association Director Ruth Almen said.  “So if people are getting physically fit we know that its good for their brain in general.  It won’t stop Alzheimer’s, but in general, people will be clear and be healthier.  We wanted them to learn those opportunities again about exercise, have an opportunity again to have an activity that they can do where they feel comfortable.”