PRESTONSBURG – As part of a new program that focuses on living a better quality of life and adds a new twist on restorative nursing, the residents and staff of Signature Health Care are taking part in a program called Race Route 66.
In this unique competition, elders from different Signature Healthcare facilities – including the one in Prestonsburg – are competing against each other to see which facility can walk the equivalent of Route 66, which is 2,451 miles. According to Chaplin Steven Clark, 1,000 steps equals one mile.
The Prestonsburg Health Care facility currently has 62 employees and 54 residents and named its team the Bootleggers. Every morning after breakfast, staff and residents walk together. Residents who are not able to walk in the morning can walk during different times of the day.
At the end of the competition the steps will be combined to see which facility reaches the end of Route 66 first. Those elders who are unable to walk have the option to self-propel their wheelchair in order to participate.
Earlier in the year, the facility also held a summer camp in which children of staff members came to the facility to spend time with residents. Some children pushed the wheelchairs of residents who wanted to participate but were unable to self-propel themselves.
Residents of Prestonsburg Health Care walked 224 miles. One resident walked 74 miles herself.
One of the elements that make the program interesting is the predesigned pit stops, which mock those used in the television show The Amazing Race. Each facility will plan and execute activities that relate to the various pit stops, such as learning about the culture and heritage of the pit stop towns.
This week, Prestonsburg Health Care played a baseball game as part of a pit stop challenge.
Another positive aspect about the Route 66 program is that it promotes engagement and relationship building among stakeholders and elders. If an elder and a stakeholder walk together, the team will receive bonus points that will add to its overall total. This element promotes friendships and helps to eliminate loneliness, helplessness, and boredom, which can lead to various problems.
The purpose of the program is to promote mobility among elders in a holistic way.
The program will continue until December when a winner will be announced.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.