Caring for the community- that’s what Utica College physical therapy graduate students call it but at the Parkway Community Center it’s simply called “STEPS”, a program keeping seniors active.
“We’ve been coming here for 4 years now and it’s wonderful…” said Helen O’Hara. O’Hara and her husband Paul said some day’s they really feel 85 years old.
“My balance is my biggest problem,” said Paul. But when they’re at the parkway things just get better.
“All our family doesn’t live here so being with the young people here, makes us feel younger.We’ve had such good kids all through the years, we still hear from some of them.”
Those “kids” are graduate physical therapy students and nurses from Utica College.
“So the students evaluate a community member who I will identify as a senior. Whoever wants to come to the parkway they sign up for the program,” said assistant director of the clinical education program at Utica College, Shelly Nunno-Evans.
Last week the students did their evaluations and got right to work developing individualized prevention and wellness programs. says here the students get to have hands-on experience, master their interviewing skills while the seniors volunteer their time.
“To come here and actually work with these community members is absolutely great. It’s probably the best experience and the best class during our program here, said six-year physical therapy student, Frank Galletta.
“They have a marvelous interaction with the students so it’s kind of a win-win for everyone,” said Nunno-Evans.
The program is so well liked that right now there’s a big waiting list, but the center mentioned wanting to develop more programs so if you didn’t get in this season, try for Spring!