CENTERVILLE – The Franciscan Center – a $4 million wellness facility geared toward seniors 55 and older – opened Thursday on the campus of St. Leonard Senior Living Community.
The 22,000-square-foot facility has a day spa, full service restaurant and bar, aerobics studio, meditation room, fitness room, community banquet room, lap pool and warm-water therapy pool.
Debra Stewart, St. Leonard wellness director and center manager, said plans for the wellness center emerged five years ago after St. Leonard residents asked for aquatic facilities. Those plans evolved into a study of the correlation between holistic health and long-term health care costs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity can reduce senior’s risk of some disease and cancers, as well as their ability to do daily activities and prevent falls.
Russell Garber of Columbus-based Andrews Architects, which designed the Franciscan Center, said the center reflects a changing approach to senior care.
“Senior living communities grew out of the hospital-based medical model, where the focus was mainly on the resident’s basic physical care,” he said. “The senior care industry is moving away from being a medically based model to one focused on the quality of care and the quality of life.”
The Franciscan Center also has partnered with Sinclair Community College to offer exercise classes through its College of Lifelong Learning.
“We offer everything from chair exercise to self-defense with a cane,” said Anne Holaday Locke, Lifelong Learning coordinator. “There is aqua-joggers, no-tutu ballet, hula-hoop aerobics, (etc.).”
Denise Cozart, 72, said she already has signed up for a membership.
The former Cincinnati-area teacher, who has been a resident at St. Leonard for seven years, said she is excited to use the equipment under the guidance specific to older adults. She said she also would like to learn how to swim.
Membership at the facility, at 8100 Clyo Road, is open to all Dayton-area residents 55 and older. For more information, call (937) 436-2203.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7325 or jikelley@DaytonDailyNews.com.