WhiteStone Residents Find a Worthy Chess Opponent in 29-Year-Old Team Member
WhiteStone senior living community’s life enrichment coordinator, Scott Oliver, is well known around the community as a sports guru who teaches many of the physical activity classes. From chair yoga to tone and balance, he teaches a plethora of active aging and fitness classes for all to enjoy. But when he saw an opportunity to reach a group of older people not involved in fitness programming, he took it. This is how the now-popular chess club was formed.
Team Members Are Like Family at WhiteStone
Oliver, 29, had limited experience with the strategic board game at first. Now he has five years’ experience playing chess with seniors – some nearly six decades older than he is. He’s found many worthy opponents who have taught him the benefits of the game and life lessons.
“It was important to me to develop relationships with our residents, even those not involved in the fitness programming,” said Oliver. “Chess has been a consistent part of the programming at WhiteStone , even during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The chess club is open to all residents who want to come and take him on. Some just come to watch, while others want to come and practice.
“It means a great deal to us because we know that Scott is interested in spending time with us,” said Alice Robbins, a WhiteStone resident.
Scott enjoys seeing the mental health benefits chess provides residents at the North Carolina community and has witnessed firsthand how some seniors with Alzheimer’s and other diseases are still skilled while playing the competitive game.
“It’s definitely rewarding to me to be able to develop these relationships with the residents. There’s so much I’ve learned from them,” he noted.
WhiteStone Support Residents’ Quality of Life
According to recent studies, playing chess and participating in chess tournaments actively engages the brain and has been shown to strengthen logical reasoning and problem-solving among older adults. These mental benefits also further improve social and physical health. This results in an improved quality of life for senior chess players.
Residents’ health is our top priority at WhiteStone. It’s why we offer a comprehensive wellness program that supports physical, emotional, social, intellectual, vocational, environmental and spiritual wellness, in addition to providing a full range of health services on site.
To learn more about our holistic approach to wellness and how it helps residents live healthier and happier lives, get in touch.
The chess club was recently featured on WXII-TV. You can watch that story below.