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Neighbors of Kane County

Holmstad seniors celebrate aging by ‘exploring the possibilities’

Sep 29, 2016 09:57AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Holmstad resident John Faust soared Chicago’s skies in a World War II-era biplane as part of the community’s month-long Active Aging Week celebration. The flights were courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.

The Holmstad retirement community’s month-long celebration of Active Aging Week is off to an adventuresome start. Resident military veterans strapped on goggles and climbed into a World War II-era biplane for a Dream Flight and those with a fondness for words faced off to ‘explore the possibilities’ of the English language during a Senior Spelling Bee, hosted by Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva).

“We embrace life at every age with the same passion,” said The Holmstad’s Executive Director Amanda Gosnell. “Active Aging Week is our Super Bowl. Our residents look forward to it each year, so much so that we celebrate it for an entire month.”

Active Aging Week, Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2016, is an international event led by the International Council on Active Aging to celebrate aging and active living by engaging older adults in wellness activities. This year’s theme is “Explore the Possibilities.”

Using The Holmstad’s LifeConnect® wellness philosophy as a guide, Resident Life Director Cathy Reese brainstormed ideas with residents and then planned activities, programs, and off-site adventures that would enhance the eight dimensions of whole-person wellness, which include physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, community, vocational, resident/staff.

The Holmstad explored new possibilities with community partners, like Rep. Andersson, who hosted the Senior Spelling Bee, and with organizations like Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides Dream Flights to senior military veterans living in long-term care communities. “We honored five of our military veterans with an exhilarating flight aboard a fully restored Boeing Stearman biplane,” said Gosnell. “It was such a special way to recognize a group of men who have given so much to our country.”

Throughout the month residents learned to improve brain function through movement, exercise, and nutrition. Health and wellness classes addressed skin care, arthritis, and relaxation and movement. Residents embraced the benefits of nature during a bird walk/program on the community’s wooded 38-acre campus and enjoyed a picnic lunch and elk viewing at a nearby forest preserve with sister Covenant communities Windsor Park and Covenant Village of Northbrook.

Residents also experienced African dancing and food, participated in a LifeRhythms Drum Circle, and explored an on-campus Vintage Pickers Antiques Road Show. Off campus, they ventured to nearby Chicago to explore The Art Institute of Chicago and had lunch at the Chicago Stock Exchange.

Intergenerational activities welcomed residents’ and staff’s families, along with local Batavia families, for a day-long Wild West Grandparents Celebration. “Nothing brings smiles to our residents’ faces like children,” said Gosnell. “We love seeing them playing in the garden or hearing their laughter ringing through the halls. Our Active Aging Month celebration wouldn’t have been complete without them!”

A kid-friendly performance by Bubbleologist Geoff Akins will wrap up the month’s activities on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 1:30pm in the auditorium. The public is welcome to attend.

For more information about The Holmstad or to register for the Bubbleologist performance, please visit or call 877-226-7310.