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Are You Ready to Rumble?!

By Sarah Scott, DOR, Draper Rehabilitation and Care, Draper, UT

Physical Therapy and Recreation Therapy have partnered to create an incredibly fun and popular boxing class. Every Wednesday, 20 or more residents sit in the dining room with boxing gloves to box. These sessions are carefully tailored by Stacey Lowe, PTA, and Corina Bancila, PTA, with layers of physical and cognitive complexity but in a way that is fun and accessible to all.

Each punch (e.g., uppercut or jab) is assigned a number. The punches are trained with short repetitions that are easy to follow. Stacey progresses the session and calls out “one,” which will be followed by a group of residents jabbing exuberantly. She will then call out “two,” and the group shifts to uppercuts. She will then combine numbers “one-two,” and the group will show off their combos.

Stacey and Rec Therapy assistants walk around modeling and providing tactile, visual, and verbal cues. The task is also rhythmic, which we know is excellent with the dementia population. Corina circulates with targets on her hands, cueing each resident to punch in turn. You can hear her target mitts clap together as she cheers people on while she circulates. Draper ED Jeremy Meldrum is very supportive of all therapies and improving quality programming for the residents. After observing a session, he purchased four more pairs of gloves.

These sessions segue into the Abilities Care Approach and programming. One of the residents listed “Stacey’s PE class” on her activity survey of the activities she enjoys. For the residents of Draper Rehab, this “PE” class is a “will do”!

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