Calling The Shots
Posted on January 28, 2014 by Katy Miller
“I feel stronger and more vibrant than I ever believed possible,” reports billiards devotee, Jackie “JJ” Jeffrey.
Although life has thrown her curveballs, JJ is a model of resilience.
Aging can be one of the most trying and stressful experiences of a person’s life. And, resilience has been tied to physical and emotional strength in older adults.
At Atria Senior Living, we are in awe of the resilience that most of our residents demonstrate each and every day.
JJ moved into Atria Cranford in December 2012 after two falls and a stay at a care center. A lifelong athlete, she was an avid roller skater and was committed to an active lifestyle.
In her mid-sixties, she ran a 10K in under an hour, a feat most people half her age have never accomplished.
Naturally, this over-achiever was apprehensive about adapting to a new life at Atria, which – in her mind – would limit her physical activities. “Thanks to the opportunities provided to me here, I not only accepted my limitations, but realized that this was an opportunity to develop new skills and hobbies,” said the boisterous 85-year-old.
As she was getting familiar with the community, JJ noticed several activity spaces on the first floor, including a billiards room. The first time she entered, several male residents were “competing and looking as though they were pretty expert at the game.” Naturally, she asked to join them, even though she had never picked up a pool stick in her life.
That was almost a year ago. Now JJ is a regular in the poolroom. She is usually seen sporting her custom-made pool stick with an engraved nameplate – a gift from her daughter. She is an excellent billiards opponent, and has since persuaded many of her male teammates to join her in weight training, balance classes, and other activities. JJ participates in just about every exercise program at Atria Cranford. She offers her friends encouragement and works individually with other residents to help them push through obstacles.
“I feel stronger and more vibrant than I ever believed possible,” says JJ. She is a walking, talking illustration of the power of resilience. She sees change as an opportunity for growth and continued learning.
Source: Resilience in Aging