Tai Chi Benefits Seniors at Retirement Home in Texas

On Tuesday, April 19, I visited the Highland Springs Retirement home in Plano, Texas, to meet and talk to some of the residents who were participating in Taoist Tai Chi classes there.

The building is lovely and it rests on beautifully maintained grounds that look more like a manicured golf course than a yard. The class was held on the second floor in a brightly lit crafts room.

There were nine people in class. They worked on foundations, single whip, and brush knee. Balance and coordination were stressed by the instructor, Audrey Cheang. As everyone worked on their movements, I spoke to a few members individually.

Oscar Burchard was elected to be on the Highland Springs advisory council. He’s been practicing Tai Chi 3 years so far. He said he had to drop out of Tai Chi for a bit because of poor health, but he’s back at it now and he was amazed that he found returning to Tai Chi easier than he thought. He says he likes Tai Chi because he feels better when he does it. Oscar also practices water aerobics. He feels thankful that the group here has Audrey to bring her vast knowledge of Taoist Tai Chi to the group.

Wanda Blankenship is finishing up her first year of Tai Chi. She is recovering from Hodgkins lymphoma and the chemo to treat it. Wanda feels that Tai Chi has helped increase her energy, stamina, and strength. Wanda said that it has especially helped with ‘chemo brain’, the forgetfulness and mental tiredness chemo can often cause. She recommends Tai Chi for everyone.

One member in particular has made great strides in his health since taking Tai Chi. Unable to stand when he first started, Jim Hoorman is in his third month of classes. Before Tai Chi, Jim couldn’t stand at all and he spent most of his time in a wheelchair. Although he still needs the wheelchair, today he does stand and does his danyus holding onto a counter. Jim really likes his Tai Chi because it gets him moving.

April is Nancy Kempf’s fourth month of Tai Chi. She moved here from Arlington, Virginia, to be closer to her son. She says she is not into sports but really enjoys her Tai Chi classes. Nancy has problems with coordination after a hip replacement and rehab, and says Tai Chi has helped with that.

Nancy’s husband, Bob, enjoys the Tai Chi classes as well. He likes the organization and structure of the Taoist Tai Chi classes, and feels Tai Chi is better than working on equipment. He walks 2 – 3 miles a day. Bob says his joints and everyday aches and pains are less now, and his coordination has improved.

Mary Hawke has been taking Tai Chi several months now and she really likes it. Mary enjoys how it has helped her physically and improved her balance.

Ann Vasta has been practicing Tai Chi since November 2010. She likes how Tai Chi has helped with her balance.

Tom Clark enjoys his Tai Chi classes as well. Tom is a Detroit Red Wings fan, but we won’t hold that against him, since he’s taking Tai Chi.

Everyone had nothing but praise for their Tai Chi classes and the instructors. Each member told me how wonderful the classes were and how much they helped them in different areas of their health, both physical and mental. They said that the instructors were like family.

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Filed under Branch Updates, Health Watch, Personal Stories, Seniors, Tai Chi for All, Testimonials

2 responses to “Tai Chi Benefits Seniors at Retirement Home in Texas

  1. martha bennett

    Audrey is my inspiration! And I love reading the comments. They really show how tai chi works. Martha

  2. billy moore

    many thank-you’s for such a lovely account…….
    wishes and hopes …
    from us all in Ireland to ……
    in Texas……

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