The YMCA Partners with the PLUS Company to Provide Support for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities in the Greater Nashua Community
The PLUS Company has had a long-standing relationship with the YMCA of Greater Nashua.
“When (YMCA Healthy Living Director) Kimberly Adie approached us back in April about a new 8-week program which would teach us about the benefits of walking, we were immediately interested as we embrace any program which positively impacts the health of our clients and staff. The mission of the PLUS Company, an acronym for People Learning Useful Skills, is to empower individuals and maximize independence. The PLUS Company works to customize home, life, education and work supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries, and has served the Greater Nashua community since 1972.
“The Y staff has been terrific to work with and attendance at this program is near 100 percent, which attests to its popularity. We appreciate and are truly grateful for all that the YMCA does to promote health and wellness in our community, said Leni Hodgins, who just retired as Adult Education Director at the PLUS Company. Her colleague Melissa Psomiades adds, “This has been a great program for our folks. We couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. Eirikur (Eirikur Holt, Healthy Living Coordinator at the Nashua Y) is great at hyping us up and keeping us motivated. This program has been a great way for our staff and clients to get the exercise that we all need after such a stressful and isolating pandemic.”
Other PLUS Company staff share observations about the benefits to their clients who participate in the walk program:
Jeff is truly enjoying the walking program and each week he exceeds the number of laps he walked the week before.
Ian is very determined to make progress and is loving the program!
Steven has increased the distance he walks each week before having to rest.
Chris and Orlando are track stars!
Lisa has definitely improved the most overall with fewer and fewer rest stops.
Andrew loves walking and always does it with a smile.
Tim has made great strides and is getting stronger every week.
Eirikur shared her experience working with the PLUS Company Walking Group: “It has been an absolute joy to work with this group. From day one of the program their energy and enthusiasm was contagious. They were all so happy to be here at the Y, and to reconnect with friends they had not seen in well over a year. The first few weeks we went over things like the importance of warming up, and stretching, we spent some time setting goals for personal improvement for each of them, and we even included incentives like pedometers and water bottles. At the start of the program, some of the participants struggled with doing more than a lap without needing a break. But they would all come back week after week determined to do more than they could the previous session and let me tell you…they CRUSHED their goals!!! The looks of pride and accomplishment on their faces each time they were able to add an additional lap, or increase their stamina so they could go longer without needing to sit for a break was truly a joy to witness. They even increased their endurance enough to be able to take a field trip into Mine Falls. I can honestly say I will be sad when the program ends, and that I will miss the fun and excitement they brought to my days.”
We are so glad our friends the PLUS Company continue to expand their ways to enjoy the Y! Keep on walking on.
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