Our Grants At-work
Folks at Home is Inspiring Elders to Walk with Ease
Walk with Ease participants at UOS Fowler Center.
Recently, SCCF had the opportunity to sit down with Wall Wofford, Executive Director of Sewanee’s Folks at Home, to learn more about this organization that was established for the main purpose of empowering elder residents of the Mountain to remain in their homes as they age. Now entering its tenth year of operations, Folks at Home has received several grants from SCCF over the years directed toward keeping elders healthy.
The most recent SCCF grant awarded to Folks at Home is $4,383 for the Walk with Ease program, a project begun by the Arthritis Foundation that provides real results for elders suffering from joint stiffness. The program runs three days per week over a six-week period and teaches participants to walk safely and comfortably while dealing with pain, and encourages people with or without arthritis to exercise again. This regimen helps build stability and walking discipline, and potentially reduces falls, the latter of which are a major threat to independent living. The goal of Walk with Ease is to inspire participants to continue to exercise after the program has concluded, and many have done so with some attendees forming a walking group.
Sarah Cordell, a University of the South Canale student, co-taught a Walk with Ease class with Wall Wofford in 2018 and enjoyed it so much she led her own class in 2019. Folks at Home hopes to attract community members to volunteer to help build the program and enable it to branch out to communities across the Plateau. Due to popular demand the program will be offered again in late spring/early summer 2019 - keep an eye out for the announcement for this session in The Messenger and at www.folksathome.org.
Walk with Ease has led to more Folks at Home programs that focus on balance, such as a Tai Ji Quan Moving for Better Balance class which began in February of this year and is part of the 2019 Campaign for Balance initiative. Two more balance enhancement classes will be offered later in the year with one of them being a ballroom dance class, to finish the year in style!
“The number of falls we saw in our community in 2018 alerted us to the need for balance improvement classes. If we can prevent one fall-related injury this year, it will make all of these efforts worthwhile.”
Wall Wofford, Executive Director, Folks at Home
“More and more I am seeing what arthritis can do to the quality of one’s life. Walk with Ease is a very productive program which teaches you how to manage arthritis on a day-to-day basis.”
Walk with Ease participant
UOS Canale student Sarah Cordell with her Walk with Ease class.