They call themselves The Golden Gloves. Ten long-term care residents have begun strapping on boxing gloves and taking to the bags to improve their coordination, strength and stability, and have a great time to boot.
A member of the Golden Gloves takes on a balloon as a new opponent.
Boxing is not typically what comes to mind when one thinks about programming in long term care, but it is a program that brings physical and social benefits.
“We are incorporating recreation therapy programs that meet the residents past and current interests,” says Camille Campbell, an SHA Recreation Therapist in southwest Saskatchewan. “I love showing residents what they can do, even when they believe they can’t. We ensure anyone can by adapting each program to match their individual needs.”
The pilot boxing program was established by two Recreation Therapists for residents at The Meadows in Swift Current. A partnership with Counter Punch Boxing Academy co-owner Nick Habscheid to ensure proper training was being given to residents. Nick and other volunteers have been dedicating their time each week to teach the classes and ensure that this program is successful. The Boxing Academy provides the equipment, gloves and bags required for the program. The Recreation Therapists are using this pilot to assess all the impacts on participants and hope to see improvements in coordination, strength and stability as well as quality of life and satisfaction before potentially expanding the program to other facilities.
“Ultimately, the work we do is about the resident’s quality of life,” says Sara Stukings, another Recreation Therapist involved with the boxing program pilot. “Implementing programs that not only meet our resident’s needs, but also boosts their confidence, gives them a purpose, and remind them of their strengths and abilities is the best part of the role we get to play in their lives.”
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