Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Staying fit during the coronavirus: This retirement community has got it figured out

For the past two weeks, Meg Weber has been encouraging the residents of WindsorMeade to come outside on their patios or balconies to exercise.

Walking around with her black-corded microphone and speaker, Weber, the facility’s wellness coordinator, has been going to different areas of WindsorMeade hosting outdoor exercise classes for its residents.

“We’re trying to think of a way to engage the residents during this time of somewhat isolation,” she said. “The outdoor classes really has been the best thing.”

She calls the residents ahead of time about the classes.

The feedback from participants?

  • “I’m so glad you’ve called.”
  • “You made my day.”

Each class lasts a half hour and incorporates cardio movements, balance and stretching.

Some of the residents who are participating in the classes didn’t come to the wellness center before, Weber noted, but this new initiative gives her an opportunity to chat with them.

“I encourage them to do these things in their apartment,” Weber said.

Weber also started an exercise email group to send encouraging emails and exercise videos. For the residents who don’t use email, she sends out flyers.

Marilyn Gray, WindsorMeade’s executive director, said the wellness center and pool areas have been closed for about six weeks.

Besides Weber’s outdoor classes, Gray mentioned the community has a specific TV channel where residents can watch exercise videos and other information.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time where a family came together in the workplace like here,” Gray said. “So yes we have some limitations at this time, but it’s really caused us to think out of the box.”

WindsorMeade has started other initiative for residents such as themed pop-up parties on Fridays, driving through neighborhoods or chatting with residents on sidewalks to check-in and delivering activity bags with crafts each week.

WindsorMeade plans to open a new gym in June.

“I think that we learned from this our residents really do like to do a lot of outside things,” said LuAnn Davis, marketing manager for WindsorMeade. “Some people don’t want to go to a fitness center, and I think that really opened doors to residents that didn’t participate before.”

WindsorMeade had two residents who tested positive for the coronavirus and have since fully recovered. The facility is also one of several senior care facilities who ordered face shields from the Williamsburg Regional Library recently.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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