SMART LINK is your Gentle Exercise Facilitator information connection, brought to you by Community Support Connections

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You are receiving SMART LINK, your connection to important exercise information. SMART LINK is a monthly newsletter to keep you in the loop and to be a resource for up to date information and success story-sharing! If you have any questions, please email Jenn or unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive it to your inbox.


CSC Waterloo Region News

From Jenn McDonald
Fall Prevention month in November was another fun one for the Exercise Team - we were able to reach out to our most home-bound clients via falls-information-related inserts with meals on wheels. For the first time we hosted four falls "facts and snacks" sessions here at our Breslau office open to volunteers and employees. We also received great feedback from our participants on the falls prevention word searches with prize incentives! Many of our own staff also participated in our word scramble challenge - winner TBA! 

The CSC Exercise Team is involved in a research project led by the University of Waterloo on how to provide dementia-inclusive exercise in our communities. You can read about it in this article which was featured by the Globe and Mail:
Our next CSC GEF Meetings are: 

Friday January 3rd, 2020
315 - 430 PM
at Community Support Connections
61 Woolwich Street North, Breslau

Ongoing articles of interest:

Check out the article about the SMART Program published in the Wellington Advertiser:

Article: Watch your step! Fall prevention for seniors living in the community

Article: Steady on your feet: New ways to improve balance and avoid falls

Exercise Resource manual link here!

Send us your readings of interest if you'd like to share them!
Client Success stories from our Osteoarthritis exercise program:
  • "I appreciated the learning and the confidence that staff and exercises provided. Hope to continue classes as scheduled!" - CSC OA exercise client
  • "At first meeting - the education tutorial was the best I have ever attended! I thoroughly enjoyed all the exercises and have continued exercises at home. Staff were excellent in giving hints and correcting positioning. 6 weeks flew by and I could really see improvement in my stature and flexibility. At last visit my walk time went from 55 seconds to 46 seconds and I lost 5 lbs over the 6 weeks! Highly recommend the program and a special thanks to staff." - CSC OA exercise client
Click below for a list of where you can find all of the:
Exercise classes
Stand Up to Falls sessions

VON Guelph Wellington News:  

From Kelly Gee

VON News:
At this joyous time of year VON would like to thank all of the staff, volunteers and community partners that have made 2019 a successful year for the SMART Program. We were able to meet our goals and expand our services enabling us to reduce falls among the senior population in Wellington County because of the generosity and commitment of people like you. We would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season.
We know that most people have a love hate relationship with exercise. One usually hates to start exercising but then loves the way that they feel and the benefits they reap from exercising. Nonetheless we do know it is hard to stay motivated especially in the cold weather and if you get out of routine (i.e. take time off over the holidays). So we have a plan to help keep our participants motivated. In January we will be launching a new challenge of having each class trying to row across the Great Lakes by completing rows in the class. 

Good-Bye to a Great Exercise Facilitator

It is with deep sadness that we have to say good-bye to Laurel Berry, her last day with VON will be Dec 23rd, 2019. Laurel joined the SMART Team 2016. Her extensive background, health, fitness and nutrition along with her infectious smile and positive energy enabled her to be a fantastic exercise leader. She was always able to retain old participants and attracted new ones. During her tenure, she has built relationships and really helped strengthen partnerships with the VBA, Duffs Church and Stone Lodge. She has inspired so many older adults to exercise and continue to challenge themselves so that they can continue to improve their overall health. If we could accurately calculate how many falls Laurel has single handedly prevented with the number of people that attend her classes on a regular basis, I am sure that this number would be quite large. She has been an amazing team member, and excellent leader and role model for excellence while working for VON. Please join me in expressing our deepest appreciation for her contributions to the SMART program and wish her every success for her future.

Thank you Laurel for all that you have done for this program!  You will be greatly missed!
November Falls Prevention Month
On Friday Nov 15 Mayor Gregg Davidson participated in the VON SMART Exercise Class in Drayton wearing his no limits t-shirt in Support of Falls Prevention Month. Gregg’s t-shirt was perfect for this class as all these participants are going beyond those ageist beliefs that frailty is inevitable. All these exercisers are over 55 years of age, many of them in their 80’s and 90’s. November is Falls Prevention Month which highlights that we all have a role to play. Falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. The best way to prevent falls or the injury from falls is to exercise. Exercising will reduce the residual effects of falls. The stronger the body is the less likely one will sustain injuries. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling but, rising every time we fall” -Confucius

The SMART Integrated Falls Prevention Program will take place at the following locations:
Riverside Glen, Guelph
Mount Forest Recreation Centre, Mount Forest
Erin Family Health Team, Erin
Rockwood Family Health Team, Rockwood

SMART GEF Meeting/ Late Christmas Get Together
165 Gordon St. Apartments Fergus, ON - Tuesday Dec 17th 12:30 – 3:30
SMART Exercise Facilitator Training
Tuesday Jan 7th and Wednesday Jan 8th 9am -4pm
401 Edinburgh Rd. North, St. Joes Apts Boardroom
Contact Kelly Gee if interested in becoming trained.

 VON will not be running exercise classes From Dec 24th – Jan 1st

For more information about the SMART Exercise and Fall Prevention Program in Wellington County, check out our website at!


Click on the links HERE for video demonstrations of all of our SMART Gentle Exercise components.
See these video links of our standing and seated options for our SMART Routine.

If there are questions regarding safety of SMART exercises, exercise ideas, etc., from CSC contact Caitlin Poth (Registered Kinesiologist) or Leigh Bouchard (Registered Kinesiologist)

Stand Up to Falls for Osteoarthritis (OA)

Stand Up to Falls for Osteoarthritis is a referral-based program specifically designed with the functional approach to an exercise circuit for those with hip/knee Osteoarthritis. Participants will use the theraband for lower body strengthening, core stability, and stair climbing/chair stands. The program includes participants practicing transitions from the floor to a chair and is progressive and individualized based on participant needs. 
We are offering it to clients 2x/week for 6 weeks, free of charge. We have secured a program location in Kitchener and continue to register clients as we receive referrals.

We will accept all levels of participants provided they have hip/knee OA. Faxing us the form HERE or continuing to use Caredove for referrals from registered health care professionals works great.
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61 Woolwich Street N
Breslau, Ontario
N0B 1M0
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Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More · 61 Woolwich St. N. · P.O. Box 29 · Breslau, Ontario, ON N0B 1M0 · Canada

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