A New Approach in Community Life at Paul’s Run

July 13, 2022

Molly poses with a guitar in front of the mural at Paul's Run.Molly Bybee, Director of Community Life at Paul’s Run, would like to ban the word “activity” from the community’s vocabulary. It’s not that she has anything against activities; she just wants to transform the culture.

Recently promoted to director, Molly’s goal is community living that encompasses a lot more than time bound activities. She strives for social and community building to enrich the lives of residents, providing them with a lifestyle that engages every part of who they are.

“Often the world is not very welcoming to aging adults,” Molly explains. “But at Paul’s Run, the environment is one of welcome and community. The space and experiences at Paul’s Run are adapted to address limitations that are unique to each person, while providing multiple opportunities for them to live fulfilling lives.”

Living in community is what makes each of us human and gives life meaning. While Molly sees her role as enhancing life within the community, she also has her sights set on taking Paul’s Run to the larger community outside its walls.

“To break down the barriers of aging in society and create a broader sense of belonging,” she states, “I want to introduce Paul’s Run to our neighbors. The community service club is one way we do that now, but we can also bring more outside groups in to our community.”

Another way in which Paul’s Run is implementing change in community living is with a new wellness and fitness coach, Matthew Schoell. “My goal is to create a culture of being active,” Matt shares. “When I first arrived, I found many residents needed help with strength training and balance, two very important features for mobility, fall prevention and overall quality of life.”

Matt provides both one on one training and group classes. He makes adjustments to routines to accommodate limitations. For instance, during strength training classes, residents choose the weight that’s right for them. They stand or sit, depending on their comfort level.

Describing a class, he says, “I combine music with routines to both set the mood and the rhythm to help participants keep with both timing and coordination. I also alternate upper body, lower body, and core during circuit training.  This allows some muscle groups to rest while others are working.  It is an efficient way to work the full body in a short amount of time. People often say they are challenged following a workout – and that just means it’s working.”

Angie, a resident in one of Matt’s classes, concurs. “Though I’m tired right after class,” she says, “I’m also rejuvenated. I feel better overall and I sleep better.” Paul’s Run facilitates experiences to honor residents’ unique lifestyles and provide optimal choices to do what brings them joy. Whether it’s spending more time with friends and family, serving others through volunteer work, or building one’s strength for more stamina, every personal life goal is worth pursuing.

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