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Kensington and YMCA partner to get residents outdoors
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Kensington and YMCA partner to get residents outdoors

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Residents of the Kensington in Beatrice got out and enjoyed the spring weather on Wednesday, as they walked around Chautauqua Park and learned about a local YMCA program.

Jill Strouf, the Kensington’s director, said this was one thing the assisted living facility has come up with to get residents out in the community while also following COVID safety protocols.

“With COVID, we’ve been trying to find ways to get out in the community since we’re not allowing everybody in,” Strouf said. “But we thought this would be a great event just to get people out seeing each other again, being able to exercise. We were hoping for some warmer weather, but we just wanted to get some of our residents out to walk, use their feet and be in parks again, and just try to get some of the community people to come join us and partner in on things.”

Strouf said the Kensington has done events like this in the past, but that it had been awhile due to the pandemic. She said they plan to make partnership events a monthly thing, and asked the Beatrice Mary Family YMCA to partner with them on the Chautauqua Walk.

At the end, one of the residents could enter a raffle drawing to receive a free one-year senior membership to the YMCA, and they could also take an insulated lunch bag full of other goodies provided by the Kensington.

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Strouf said current health protocols at the Kensington requires guests to make an appointment.

“We’re still asking that everybody keep their six foot distance as much as possible in our dining room and stuff, just due to the percentages in Gage County still being above 15%,” Strouf said.

Before residents got out and walking, a heart ambassador for the Y offered to check the residents’ blood pressure.

Crystal Higgins is a retired nurse, and also helps teach the Movement Improvement class at the YMCA.

Higgins said the YMCA’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program helps individuals monitor their blood pressure, as well as offers nutrition programs. She said she and another heart ambassador meet with individuals at the Y twice a month by appointment.

“Just make sure they’re doing okay, and how is their blood pressure going, and if they have any questions or anything like that,” Higgins said. “We’re not treating them or anything, we’re just trying to get them to make sure that they monitor their blood pressure the way that they need to be monitoring it, and see their practicing physician or healthcare provider when they need to.”

Higgins noted that several of the Kensington residents are already YMCA members, so attending the event was more to get the word out about the blood pressure program. She said people interested in learning more about the program can call the Y at 402-223-5266 and speak to Wellness Director Shely Bauman.

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