By Jeff Randall, Eastside News
Looking to connect, and stay healthy in body and mind? Then the Wellness Warriors is the place for you. Currently in its second year, this age 50 and over group is connecting older adults with nursing students from Edgewood College who moderate virtual discussions.
Wellness Warriors is a collaboration initiated by Deenah Givens of NewBridge, a Madison nonprofit focusing on older adults, Edgewood College and host Goodman Community Center. GCC’s older adult program manager Gayle Laszewski said Wellness Warriors is “facilitated by us, directed by participants.” Topics have been nutrition, meditation, mental health and active living.
For a virtual discussion, there has been real energy, leaving both presenters and participants fulfilled, energized and more connected with other generations — others experiences.
“It was fun, a really cool experience,” nursing student Parker Fetherston reflected.
Students learned by researching topics and then sharing that information. Fetherston said she enjoyed hearing about the types of meals participants grew up eating, and was happy to provide information regarding queries about brain-healthy foods to enjoy — and those to avoid. Fetherston said participants had a hunger to learn and were actively engaged. She found the learning to be bidirectional.
The Wellness Warriors group meets for eight weeks every semester (based on Edgewood College’s nursing program) Wednesdays from 3-4:15 p.m. The current session runs through March 29. Anyone 50 or older can join in at any time.
As a virtual group, members outside of Madison can readily join and allows people to attend from home. There have been discussions about going to a hybrid model — virtual and in person.
“(Wellness Warriors is) focusing on positive mental health, it is not a therapy group. It is for older adults and nursing students to learn and share their values, purpose and physical activity,” Laszewski reflected.
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