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Seniors Have a Place to 'Play' at Danner Park
Senior Motion Wellness System
By Angie Talken CT 04 22 19

There is now a place for senior citizens in Chillicothe to be outside while working on their fine motor skills, balance and more, all while enjoying the park and getting to play. Last week, Aging in Place Livingston County held a public dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of new playground equipment for senior citizens at Danner Park. The equipment, called a Senior Motion Wellness System, is located on the north end of Danner Park near the Rotary shelter house.

PHOTO: Members of the Livingston County Senior Tax Board, Livingston County Community Foundation, Robert Browning Foundation, the Lambert Foundation, the City of Chillicothe, and Livingston County Health Center cut the ribbon on the new Physical Activity Station for senior citizens in Danner Park. [ANGIE TALKEN/CT PHOTO]

Among adults 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury, Ann Burchett, with Aging in Place Livingston County said. "The design of the equipment is based upon fall assessment and fall reduction of seniors, while enhancing physical and cognitive skills and providing a great social setting." This system helps build and improve individuals' confidence, balance, and strength needed to reduce falls and improves everyday life activities, such as: navigating stairs, reaching for items in a cupboard, or simply getting up out of a chair. "Many times seniors focus on the ability to be able to walk safely but forget about working on upper body strength and their fine motor skills," Burchett said. "There are several activities and exercises right here on this equipment that will help with that."

"Our latest goal is to provide a motion wellness system, otherwise known as a Physical Activity Station for senior citizens, in Danner Park. These systems contribute to a senior's motion, strength, posture, balance, and coordination, while reducing the risk of falls and increasing overall fitness abilities. By staying active and well, seniors have a better outlook on aging in place, or staying in their own homes as long as possible while maintaining quality of life," said Aging in Place organizers in a letter to the Chillicothe City Council. Mary Ruth Altheide, an occupational therapist who also works with Aging In Place plans to do a video that will help seniors see all the equipment has to offer and proper ways to use it.

PHOTO: A member of the community tests equipment called a Senior Motion Wellness System at Danner Park.

The equipment was purchased using funds from the Livingston County Senior Tax Board, Livingston County Community Foundation, Robert Browning Foundation, the Lambert Foundation, the City of Chillicothe, Livingston County Health Center and a small private foundation that wishes to remain anonymous. The playground was installed late last fall by the Chillicothe Parks Department.

Aging in Place Livingston County is unique not only to Missouri as a whole but especially to North Central Missouri, Burchett said. The group began in 2016 locally and works to help seniors with a variety of issues and needs from finances to physical health and safety and home design. "We all are aging in place," Burchett said. "And we work to address a variety of issues to make sure people can safely remain in their homes for as long as they safety can while maintaining quality of life." One of the biggest indicators of a person's ability to stay in their home is if they are able to raise themselves up out of a chair, Burchett noted. Aging in Place offers a variety of activities to address seniors physical needs including recently started Tai Chi Classes, the senior play equipment and more.

Needs Day, a resource fair, helps make sure seniors throughout the are are connected with the resources to serve them and their specific needs. Aging in Place Livingston County will host Needs Day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday, April 24, at the health center, 800 Adam Dr. For more information about Tai Chi classes, Needs Day, the knox box, and 911 locator sign program call 660-646-5506.


Adult Wellness System to be Added to Danner
CT 04 12 18

The city of Chillicothe is moving forward with plans to create an adult motion wellness system at Danner Memorial Park. Chillicothe Parks and Recreation Director Josh Norris presented to City Council members three possible locations within Danner Park for placement of the equipment. The council unanimously selected a location on the north side of the park which is near parking, a shelter house, and the walking trail. The council viewed a photograph and information about the equipment during their regular Monday meeting, and Sherry Weldon, administrator of the Livingston County Health Center, explained benefits of the equipment. The system purchase price is $27,775, and funds have been raised through local foundations and the health center to buy the equipment. The city will construct a concrete slab on which the equipment will be placed.

The wellness system is targeted for adults through the Aging in Place initiative; however, it can be utilized by people of all ages. The system will include several fitness stations, including: stair walk steps, a hand bike, tai chi wheels, zig-zag pipe with a ring, rope bridge walk, shoulder wheel, sitting hand throttle bars, balance and hip twist, balance beam, rope net floor and a snake pipe with ring. The exercise equipment comes with a 100-year guarantee. Placement of the adult wellness equipment as among several City Council decisions made Monday evening, April 9, 2018.

Grant Boosts Project for Senior Citizens Park Equipment
C-T 03 05 18

The Livingston County Community Foundation has announced a $5,000 grant to the Livingston County Health Center. The grant is part of a $30,000 project by the Health Center to fund a playground for senior citizens at Danner Park in Chillicothe. The playground will include a Senior Motion Wellness System from a company called Xccent Fitness.

Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults 65 and older. The design of the Motion Wellness System is to improve an individual's confidence, balance and strength needed to reduce falls and improve everyday life activities such as: navigating stairs, reaching for items in a cupboard, or simply getting up out of a chair. The unit would take up a 30 foot square area at the park, surface mounted on a concrete pad, and will include shading to protect users from damaging UV rays.

From left: Mary Ruth Altheide (Aging in Place Coalition), Sherry Weldon (health center administrator), Pam Brobst, Steve Schieber, Ron Wilder, E.L. Reed (community foundation) and Ann Burchett (health center and AIP Coalition)

The Livingston County Community Foundation was organized in 1998 as a recommendation of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce to set up a permanent endowment which will grant funds to other Livingston County nonprofits to fill their objectives. The Foundation's major areas of interest are Economic Development, Community Service, Rural Development, Education and Community Health and Welfare, Youth and Arts & Humanities. Since its organization, the Foundation has made 105 grants totaling approximately $640,000 to Livingston County non-profit organizations.

For more information about the Livingston County Community Foundation, contact Ron Wilder at 646-0502, e-mail him at or write to P.O. Box 405 in Chillicothe.

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