125 Lilian Drive, Toronto, Ontario Canada • M1R 3W6 Canada P: 416-751-9823 • F: 416-755-1832 • T: 1-888-751-9823  Canada

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Centre of Excellence - Canterbury Gardens Peterborough ON

Enhance Aquafitness Leadership

Our CALA Training Experience  By Katie Zatorski & Andra Hughes

 Katie and I are proud employees of AON.  AON owns and operates (among many other venues) 4 retirement homes in Peterborough Ontario.  With the addition of their newest building, Canterbury Gardens, which opened in January 2009, Katie and I found ourselves with the luxury of having a 94 degrees F., therapeutic, salt water pool at our disposal.

Katie is the Activity Director at Canterbury Gardens, and I am the Wellness Coordinator for the 4 AON retirement homes.  Even Katie with her extensive recreation background, and myself with years of land fitness training, we had found ourselves challenged with something that was totally new and different.  How to keep retired, older adults, safe, enthused, motivated, fit and did I mention safe…in this wonderful setting. 

Over the past years, both our comfort level and skill level has dramatically increased, thanks to the training we have undergone with CALA Inc.. We are 100% confident that our Gardens of Peterborough retired residents, are getting the best aquatic fitness leadership around.

Our CALA journey began in May of 2011 when we travelled to Ottawa on a Sunday afternoon to join Dylan for an afternoon Aqua Arthritis Workshop.  We had both been leading various aquatic classes on a daily basis, but were interested in this workshop as a very high percentage of our residents are dealing with one form of arthritis or another.  We were so impressed at how many new skills we were able to learn and take back to Peterborough, just from this one workshop.  The residents were also excited to change up some of their existing favorite aquatic programs.  Our next step was, of course, the CALA Foundations of Vertical Water Training, that we were able to take shortly after in June.  This very in depth, weekend long course, gave us more understanding of all of the characteristics of water movement, and why it is one of the best ways to help our residents include physical activity in their routine… even with limitations on the land!

Because of the population we work with every day, Healing Waters: Aquatic Post Rehabilitation was the logical next step, in the CALA training process.  In February of 2012, we successfully completed the Healing Waters course, including the practical assessment and theory exams.  The Healing Waters program, gave Katie and I the specific knowledge to know how to challenge a resident with COPD or arthritis, while keeping someone who is just recovering from heart surgery safe….all in the same class!  We now have the confidence, to design, and implement a variety of safe and effective aquatic programs to our residents every day.  Whether through a Gentle Aqua Fit, Aqua-cise or Aqua Yoga class, our residents are being challenged, having fun and experiencing all of the many benefits of the warm water.  Many older adults in our community have chosen to stay at Canterbury Gardens to experience the benefits of aquatic exercise, while they recover from a fall or from surgery.  We also welcome other AON residents from the Princess, the Empress and Royal Gardens to our aqua therapy program.  The social interaction amongst the participants before and after each CALA class is palpable. We absolutely love it.  The CALA philosophy of “encouraging the mind to discover, the body to move and the spirit to soar” is alive and well at our therapy pool.

It is so amazing to be able to learn, and implement skills that will help people have a better quality of life.  To see a person get out of a wheel chair, get into the pool, and have the freedom they did not have on land, is a truly spectacular thing.

We are proud to be members of CALA Inc..  Proud of the education and skills we have developed through their training, and very excited to be able to experience our first CALA conference in the months to come!

CALA • 125 Lilian Drive, Toronto, Ontario • M1R 3W6, Canada  
 Phone: 416-751-9823 • Fax: 416-755-1832 • Toll Free: 1-888-751-9823 (in Canada)

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   Charlene Kopansky

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