From the motorways to the GetSetUp days

Liz Miller

From the motorways to the GetSetUp days

 

“I don’t like being bored.”

At 68, Patsy is anything but bored. She paints watercolors and acrylics, plays the guitar, sings in several bands, performs with the Sassy Seniors, and loves to travel. She goes frequently to Denmark to visit relatives there. Plus, she had a wonderful adventure on one of the last cruises to Cuba and backpacking through Europe and Japan. Lately, she enjoys performing live with friends, playing guitar, and riding her motorcycles.

Patsy retired from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. While working there, she spent over 30 years as a long-term care facility inspector and as a policy analyst addressing policy and consumer protection through regulation.

After retiring from civil service in 2009, Patsy went to work for a health insurance company where she focused on Medicare enrollment and consumer protection. She went on to work with the Arthritis Foundation, where she helped with fundraising initiatives like their Jingle Bell Run.

Now Patsy splits her time each year between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she takes community college courses, performs locally, and helps take care of her latest grandchild, and an active senior community in Elkton, Florida. Patsy considers splitting her time a loose term as you might easily find her on the motorways or traveling the world.

For the past 20 years, Patsy has been a member of the Motor Maids which is the oldest group of female motorcycle riders in the USA/Canada. Patsy doesn’t just wear the Motor Maid uniform with pride in parades and other local events but she has ridden her motorcycles as far north as New Foundland; as far south as Key West and twice ridden west to Bend, Oregon, and the California coast.

In fact, her ex-husband met her while she was riding a motorcycle, and he followed her till he caught her- safely at a traffic signal. While the marriage didn’t work out it made it possible for her to have her two grown children and now 5 grandchildren.

From active to stationary

Like many active people, the pandemic hit her hard. Suddenly, she was much more stationary than she had been before.

“In Florida, I’m part of an active senior adult community. I’m the assistant director of our theater group, run yoga classes, and tap-dancing classes. Then the COVID precautions forced the facility operator of the community to shut everything down. It was a huge hole in my life not being able to do anything with my groups of friends.”

Patsy sought out something to keep her active. She looked through her SilverSneakers activities and saw an advertisement on Facebook for GetSetUp. She was sure there was a hook, but there wasn’t. Her local Area Agency on Aging, ElderSource, had recently partnered with GetSetUp to offer activities for older adults in their area to participate in online.

“Initially I was looking for physical activities, but I first signed up for a class on Art in the Vatican. It was fun, and I started to go on every morning and that’s how I found Stacey’s morning exercise classes. She’s my addiction.”

Stacey teaches morning exercise classes. Patsy loved the fact that during the pandemic she could do her exercises in her living room (in her pajamas) with a live class.

“GetSetUp classes are a wonderful thing that gave me a reason to wake up every morning, especially during the pandemic. I can’t make it through the morning without Stacey at 8 AM.”

While passionate about Stacey’s morning exercise routine, Patsy also enjoyed joining the Drawing Club, taking other classes, and attending the Rick Steves Guest Speaking event.

“It was a really wonderful experience. I told everyone including the activity director at the community about GetSetUp to help encourage people to sign up.”

Patsy has been amazed to see the class list continue to grow since she joined at the start of 2021.

“Now there are so many options. The best part is the accessibility for all generations. It is focused to keep people engaged, especially seniors. The instructors seem to be very aware that the levels of the learners are very different. I was really impressed with that part.”

While there are more basic classes for those new to topics like yoga and dance, now there are also more advanced classes as well. This means that there are more and more classes to meet the wide variety of needs of a diverse community of learners. 

“GetSetUp was a lifesaver during COVID. It’s a wonderful addition for people who can’t get out of their homes or don’t want to. The next step is to get doctors and gerontologists sharing it with their patients so it’s used in all the county programs and with insurers to help with improved wellness.”

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From the motorways to the GetSetUp days
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