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need different things, including flexibility and mobility, core strength, and appropriate rest and recovery.
Start off correctly, and you’ll go the distance. It’s always best to assess and build a strong foundation to make progress over time, and you should always base your choices off where you are today, not what you used to be capable of. At Train for Life, we always begin with a fitness assessment to address your range of motion and ability to progress through basic movement patterns in order to choose the right exercises for you.
Starting people with what they need, and progressing in a way that allows them to build strength while avoiding injury, is always the goal. While working with new members, we utilize basic exercises like body-weight squats and elevated pushups along with resistance bands and machines that support small, incremental increases, to name a few.
Adopting an approach that focuses on longevity
will keep you moving and enjoying your routine long into the later years of life. Someone who has been physically active for years may progress differently than someone who is just starting out. Some individuals may be very sore from a short workout incorporating movements that are new to them, whereas others may be able to complete a full, hour-long strength training without any aches and pains. It’s the same for any type of exercise, and no matter what you choose to do, you should do it at your pace, remembering that more isn’t always better; better is better.
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treatment program.
Four key components are generally a part of
a successful short-term rehab program. First is a multi-disciplinary rehab team, led by a physician and including physical, occupational, and speech therapists; a pain-management specialist; rehabilitation nursing staff; nutritionists; counselors; social workers; and
case managers, who can provide comprehensive rehabilitation services.
Second is intensive daily rehabilitation therapy, where a patient is working with a therapist for five days each week for a minimum of three hours per day. Recovery and rehabilitation goals will be evaluated weekly to make modifications. Next, a patient-centered approach to care focuses on the individual needs and goals of each patient. The input of family and friends who provide support to the patient is also important. The final component is access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, as well as qualified staff, to aid and supervise patients as they work toward their recovery goals.
When selecting the right short-term care facility, be sure they specialize in your needed area of recovery, and be certain that the facility will accept your insurance. A strong program will also provide you with a solid plan for your transition home. Staff should work with you to ensure a safe adjustment home with proper support, which may include home healthcare, and realistic recovery goals and expectations.
A Patient-centered Philosophy
On June 1, Northeast Rehab Associates Inc. relocated its Agawam practice to Sosin Center for Rehabilitation on the JGS Lifecare campus in Longmeadow. Cherie Stack, Northeast’s owner, explained why.
“Proper rehabilitation is a key component to living a long and healthful life,” she said. “When I met with Rob Whitten, the president of JGS Lifecare, I could tell that our vision and mission aligned. At Sosin, the patient
Working Out as You Age
‘How many days per week should I work out?’ ‘How long should each workout be?’
‘What exercises should I be doing?’
These are just a few of the many questions
people ask when they are getting started with their strength-training program. So let’s discuss some general guidelines on the best approach for the aging population to start their fitness journey.
In pharmacology, the minimum effective dose is the amount of a drug that produces the desired response in most patients; the same can be applied to exercise. For a beneficial routine, I would recommend starting with two or three full-body strength-training workouts per week. Full-body workouts can range from 20 to
60 minutes to be effective, and performing a full-body
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nursing home, need long-term care for an extended time, are terminally ill, or have a life-threatening diagnosis such as AIDS. Check your life-insurance policy to see exactly what it covers.
You may be able to raise cash by selling your life- insurance policy for its current value. This option, known as a ‘life settlement,’ is usually available only to people age 70 and older. The proceeds are taxable and can be used for any reason, including paying for long-term care.
A similar arrangement, called a ‘viatical settlement,’ allows a terminally ill person to sell his or her life- insurance policy to an insurance company for a percentage of the death benefit on the policy. This
is always put first. That’s how we operate; that’s what really matters.”
Stack said the Sosin Center, a small-house model
of short-term rehab care known as the Green House model, is the only one she knows of in Western Mass. “I was searching for an organization that adopted the person-centered care approach that is so important to optimal healing. My team and I have always treated the whole person, not just the symptom of the day. If you really listen to what the patients are saying, understand their goals, and work with their support system, you help them achieve their goals. I knew I could do this at Sosin. They had the foundation in place already; it was a smooth transition, very smooth.”
Asked what stood out about the Sosin Center
and JGS Lifecare, Stack noted the all-private patient rooms and all-private bathrooms. “It is built on the small-house model of care and really feels like home. From the central kitchen and open dining-room and living-room areas, our patients feel like they are in a beautiful home. It truly is a wonderful place to rehab and prepare to go home. You add that to a state-of-the- art gym and a staff that is specially trained for great orthopedic outcomes, and it’s a win-win.”
Stack said she’s accustomed to working closely with the area’s orthopedic surgeons. “Together, and working with the patients and their families, we are able to identify and personalize each patient’s care plan to best regain their highest level of function and achieve their personal goals. For the past 25 years, we have been a preferred and respected referral, and we have come to speak the same language. We have truly built a finely oiled machine.”
Rob Whitten, president of JGS Lifecare, is excited about the new partnership. “Northeast Rehab
has added a specialty component for orthopedic rehabilitation to our campus of care,” he said. “Cherie has always had a top-notch reputation in the industry, and I knew, coupled with our Green House model of care and our existing rehab team, we would be able
to do great things. Orthopedics is her true specialty, along with multi-trauma, but she also brings additional
workout each time will allow you to maximize the amount of the time you allow for each session.
A proper full-body workout should include one movement from each of the main movement patterns: squat, hinge (bridge/deadlift), upper-body pushing
and pulling (pushups/rows), and a core exercise. As
you advance, you can certainly incorporate additional compound movements (multi-joint, chinups, lunge, machines), direct exercises to target more specific muscle groups, and appropriately increase the intensity.
The benefits of strength training and specific workout programs for aging adults are endless. Are you ready to get started? n
Drew McConaha is co-owner of Train for Life in Chicopee.
option is typically used by people who are expected to live two years or less. A viatical settlement provides immediate cash, but it can be hard to get.
Using Annuities to Pay
for Long-Term Care
You may choose to enter into an annuity contract with an insurance company to help pay for long-term- care services. In exchange for a single payment or a series of payments, the insurance company will send you an annuity, which is a series of regular payments over a specified period of time. There are two types of annuities: immediate annuities and deferred long- term-care annuities. n
cardiac, respiratory, as well as pulmonary care to the table.
“Cherie is committed to her outcomes, he added. “Her staff follow the patient from the time they walk through the door to the time they are discharged. It helps that they are rehabbing in an environment that resembles home, as patients prepare to go home
— benefits of the Green House model. They work together with them for all their activities of daily living so when they return home, they are prepared for success. The therapists get to know each patient and their personal goals. They are constantly assessing to see what more is needed. It’s a model they have fine- tuned for years, and it works.” n
Mary-Anne Schelb is director of Business Development at JGS Lifecare.
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We also recently launched the Center for Women, Wellness & Wealth, which offers client-focused events on wellness and financial planning while partnering with community organizations, specialized experts, and thought leaders. Collectively, the
center inspires action to build greater financial stability, alignment, and opportunity for women and Berkshire’s broader communities. Initiatives also include impact conversations, philanthropic coaching and development support, wellness programs, and complimentary portfolio reviews offered by Berkshire Bank Wealth Management. n
Stephen Augstell, CFP, is vice president, senior financial planner/wealth advisor with Berkshire Bank. He has more than 25 years of experience in the financial-planning industry working closely with clients, communicating complex planning concepts in simple terms. In addition to his role at Berkshire, he is an adjunct professor at Siena College; [email protected]

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