As baby boomers age, so do their parents. Most parents of baby boomers have now reached their 70s, 80s and even 90s, and with that advanced age, comes added responsibility for the child. They must not only ensure their parents are cared for now, in the future, or in the event they become incapacitated or disabled. They also must help parents make end-of-life plans, determining where their assets and property will go, who will make health care decisions, and many more important factors. Estate planning is a daunting topic and most average American’s know they should be planning however often take “I am in good shape today” physically, mentality and postpone important discussions with their loved ones. Possibly a way to help you quit the procrastination stage of communication you are in with your family is recognizing the greatest asset you can leave your loved ones is the decades of memories of the life you have lived. The beauty is you have the ability to instantly share “your stories” at any time and the art of communication benefits you and your loved one as you share relevant stories of the past and present often times sparking conversation of your desires ,even wishes you may have for the future.

Is your family documenting history? We all have those wacky family members that stories surround them over the years, possibly there is a story worth noting that will lead to solving a mystery in your life today. We have heard journaling can be a therapeutic practice as well as assist us in bringing true happiness. In addition there is a huge benefit of straining your brain to recall experiences and past events STAYING SHARP begins at birth and continues across a whole lifespan. Senior Living and clinical neuropsychologist and professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine states, “Face-to-face interaction and maintaining as well as building your family network are beneficial for the brain. So shut off the entertainment devices and spend time talking to each other.”

This is a great excuse to reach out to those seldom talked to friends and family to help jog your memory about those long lost relatives and colorful characters of your life. Keep this in mind as you prepare for the next holiday gathering and share precious photos of long ago. Digging photos out of the depths of boxes can serve multiple purposes i.e. table toppers to decorate the dinner table, photos could be a great gift item for those you know who have plenty of sweaters or jumpstart the process to preserving those family memories. Consider attending scrap booking events or seek out experts that can passionately write your biography and help you document your memories: Truly giving the most valuable gift you can to future generations.

If you have yet to embrace the electronic world of today now is the time to ensure your photos are stored electronically and consider making copies to share with loved ones. You might be surprised at how getting re-acquainted and assembling your memories when they are blended with others creates a beautiful tapestry of your life. Also it is important to note that history has been well preserved at local city halls and High Schools consider locating your grandparent’s year book? The High School might have access to it online – who knows what you will find out you might be related to a president if you took advantage of family history resources i.e.

You may be thinking that your stories have fallen on the deaf ears of the youth I recommend trying again, as your family creates their family there will be a new found appreciation for your story … trust me I speak from first hand experiences knowing you never know what each day will bring and perfectly healthy loved ones may not be here tomorrow to fill in the blanks.

Considering all that you have witnessed throughout the decades, now is not the time to slow down. Rather, embrace it as the time to begin weaving the decades of your life together, and re-invigorating all of your senses to live life with PURPOSE. A special thank you to my loved ones past and present that spark my inspiration.

Tracey Harvey is the Corporate Director of Consumer Relations/Vitality for GenCare Lifestyle, creating WHOLE LIFE LivingTN connections for seniors in Washington & Arizona recently adding Friendship Villas in Tucson. To learn how you can join in on the conversations LIKE us on FACEBOOK and BLOG

RESOURCE: Preserve your family memories with On The Record. Click here for more details

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WALKING PARTNERS PROGRAM ~ Invigorating walking participation in all ages!

Walking for exercise really does improve quality of life. According to Kansas State University, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity; Individuals who sat for over 4 hours at a time were significantly more likely to report chronic illnesses. This information does not take anyone by surprise and thus the importance of sharing how to implement a WALKING PARTNERS program that can be added to your Trainer’s toolbox today.

Trainers most likely see walking as a general activity that we all take for granite and feel that their job should be conducting specialty classes, one on one sessions etc. My goal is to challenge the Trainer world to consider introducing a WALKING PARTNERS program in their community in the spirit of getting all ages fit regardless of their fitness level.

The health and wellbeing of people as they age is an essential element of their quality of life.  That quality of life is highest when people remain independent with vitality and mobility. The saying if “you don’t use it; you lose it” really applies to older adults as they age. In retirement communities (whether they be independent living, assisted living, skilled care or continuous care), it is true that the healthier the residents, the lower the cost of their care and thus the lower the overall operating costs of the communities.  Studies have shown that programmed activities in general have higher levels of participation; and specifically, walking programs have been demonstrated to be especially effective in helping to maintain older adults’ mobility, balance, muscle tone and overall physical viability where participation levels are consistently high.

As Chief Ambassador of your business you should provide a multitude of opportunities to keep your clients motivated. Integrating a WALKING PARTNERS program at a fitness facility, Retirement Living Community or within a neighborhood is simple if you stick to the following guidelines provided by The Institute of Preventive Foot Health along with the ICAA.


1.      Understanding the importance of preventive foot health is vital. Identifying reputable specialists (podiatrist or orthopedic doctor) in your community to refer clients to get an initial foot assessment if working with older adults will ensure they are wearing proper fitting shoes.

2.      Learning when to refer clients is helpful if a client complained about any of the items below.  A good source for more in depth information is the Institute for Preventive Foot Health.

  • Evidence of infection – areas of redness around sores or cuts in the feet, swellingor pus pockets are indicative of infection, and should be treated quickly;
  • Any evidence of ulceration or sores that do not appear to be healing;
  • Severe foot anomalies with concentrated pressure points or in which foot does notfit properly into shoe;
  • History of serious blistering or persistent “hot spots”;
  • Evidence of serious calluses on any area of the foot;
  • Cases of diabetic (or other type) neuropathy (loss of sensation in the feet) in which participant is not already under care of a doctor or has not been diligent about regular doctor visits and/or following dietary and medication regimens;
  • Severe swelling;
  • Cases of serious athlete’s foot or toenail fungus;
  • Extremely long toe nails that need to be trimmed
  1. Encourage use of a pedometer they come in all shapes and price ranges, inexpensive ones are great to start with to simply count steps and as the user      progresses they may wish to locate the various apps and devices for their phones that fit their needs.
  2. Identify and broadcast three routes that accommodate all fitness levels for 10 weeks – Think of scenic parks, historic areas or indoor early mall walking for climates where the heat is unbearable. Frequency and progression is the formula for your clients to see results. Exploring      your city will keep your routes interesting and give your clients  enjoyment they would not seek out on their own. Incorporating themes in your walks can encourage new clients i.e. a Garden walk- identifying new plants or Strength & Yoga walks you could incorporate bands and small props to be used along the way. Consider      promoting Family and Hill walks and Walk & Talk walks are great for older adults.
  3. Tracking and measuring will keep your client motivated so consider ways to help them log their steps over      the 10 weeks and reward the client at the end for the most steps averaged.

Sustaining a WALKING PARTNERS program can morph into many wonderful things- After a 10 week period you are sure to locate client Champions that will lead walks in your absence or you can re-connect with the traditional fitness equipment at your club. Trainers should make it their first priority to explore and be familiar with not just the functionality of equipment but identify the equipment that will make your job easier that focuses on a positive user experience.  Acquainting your client with more than just the quick start button will bring mutual results to both of you.

Not yet convinced? Consider expanding your skill set to continue your education beyond just renewal CEC’s. Learning more about the older adult and how to work with the aging will ensure you are equipped to handle this ever growing segment.  Organizations that are nationally recognized, backed by solid research with evidence based protocol along with the ability to track and measure clients results will ensure you are learning content that is sustainable overtime.


• 2.5 feet: average person’s stride length

• 2, I 00 average steps: about one mile

• 10,000 steps: about 5 miles

• 10,000 steps: expends about 300 to 400 calories (depending on body size and walking speed)

• 1,200 steps: 10 minutes of walking

• 3, I 00 – 4,000 steps: 30 minutes of moderately intense walking

Note: all these equivalents are averages that will vary among individuals Sources: Research Digest,


How Many Steps for an active lifestyle?

Sedentary: <5,000 steps/day

Low active: 5,000-7,499 steps/day

Somewhat active: 7,500-9,999 steps/day

Active: > or = I 0,000 steps/day

Highly active: > 12,500 steps/day

Source: Tudor-Locke C, Bassett DR Jr., Sports Medicine

Remember FUN needs to make a comeback! No amount of discipline and will power can replace an experience that is fresh, engaging and really fun. Have fun creating and implementing your own Walking Partners Program.


Tracey Harvey is the Corporate Director of Consumer Relations & Vitality for GenCare

Lifestyle, creating Whole Life LivingTN – connections for seniors


GenCare Lifestyle

Institute of Preventive Foot Health/ICAA WALKING PARTNERS GUIDELINES

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SeaHawk Pride

SeaHawk Pride

Scriber Gardens Team & Residents show their spirit ~ GO HAWKS!

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The Carillons in Sun City, AZ / Celebrating Verona 102 Years Young!

The Carillons in Sun City, AZ / Celebrating Verona 102 Years Young!

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Walking Partners®

How do you Walk? Would love to hear what keeps you and your loved ones motivated.

A special thank you to Michelle! So grateful to have such a talented Vitality Team / Granite Falls ~ The VILLAGE. ENJOY!

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Ballard Landmark Residents w/ PURPOSE .striving to make the December 1st Craft Fair the Community Event of the Season

Can you believe…this wreath is made of cashmere!




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Scriber Gardens Offers Innovative SOLEMOTION Class for Older Adults

Scriber Gardens Offers Innovative SOLEMOTION Class for Older Adults

Truly an innovative approach of blending all of the many benefits of mind body disciplines Tai Chi, Yoga and Qi Gong together. All ages especially older adults that would like to experience more energy and vitality using breath, the body’s bio energy and mindfulness to achieve mind and body harmony should not miss this opportunity. Class participants will experience the amazement of how moving their body can improve daily life movements addressing balance, coordination and strength for east of movements used in daily living

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