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Healthy resources the key to longevity

Ashby Ponds partners with health, fitness experts

Created date

September 24th, 2013

Healthy living is a hallmark of the Erickson Living lifestyle. At Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va., opportunities to get and stay healthy abound. Ashby Ponds management team continuously and imaginatively emphasizes healthy living in many ways, says community member Al Beyer. My wife Marilynn and I enjoy the healthy menu selections at our meals, fitness programs and health and wellness presentations, and fun activities such as the Summer Olympics. We also enjoy the convenience of the fitness center that is well-staffed with knowledgeable and energetic trainers. There are many venues on campus that encourage residents to maintain an active lifestyle, such as the walking paths, bocce court, Ping-Pong, and billiards, as well as nearby opportunities to pursue bicycling, tennis, bowling, and other sports.

Powerful partnership

Al s neighbor Barbara McArdle agrees: Each week we enjoy speakers who engage our brains and make us think. There is always something interesting to be learned. One of the most recent opportunities for learning results from a new partnership between The George Washington University School of Nursing and Ashby Ponds. Our nursing students learn how to promote healthy aging, says Dr. Belinda Tebbenhoff, B.S.N., director for the school of nursing. They receive clinical experience with illness but are in need of opportunities to learn from witnessing aging in place. Our partnership with Ashby Ponds provides those opportunities and allows our students to share their expertise with the community members. We are helping each other. Recently, The George Washington University nursing students held a health education screening fair at Ashby Ponds. Stations were set up on a variety of health topics from high blood pressure to diabetes. Residents were encouraged to seek out topics of interest and discuss their questions with the student nurses. A huge part of our job as nurses is education, says nursing student Erin Aeling. This health screening fair is a great opportunity for us to learn the patients perspective which will, in turn, help us to better address their needs. Our goal is to educate Ashby Ponds community members on preventable issues, says student Elizabeth Demarest. By providing important information, we are engaging in a partnership that will help the residents stay healthy longer. Ashby Ponds community members were also invited to sign up to take part in the nursing school s Skills and Simulation Laboratory (SSL), a sophisticated and innovative learning environment in which students gain hands-on experience before entering a clinical facility. The response from Ashby Ponds has been terrific, says Pat Davis, director of the SSL. Participants in the Skills and Simulation Lab will act out a role as patient, and the student will respond. The patient will then give us their feedback, telling us how we could do better. The screening fair is a great event, says community member Carl Zaleski. There is a lot of good information available. And it s great to see students from my alma mater.

Forward thinking

With the opening of Ashby Ponds continuing care neighborhood next year, the School of Nursing hopes the partnership will grow. There are many different ways to help people, says Tebbenhoff. Our goal is to visit Ashby Ponds at least twice a year. Events like the health screening fair help us learn about the topics that interest the residents the most. In the meantime, community members like Al and Barbara are thankful to belong to a community that puts its community members health and wellness first. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as an Ashby Ponds resident is made easier because of the variety of activities that serve to keep both body and mind active, engaged, and healthy, says Al.