Sunday, May 16, 2010

Senior Fencing at the Nearly There Home for the Aged and Infirmed

Cloverdale’s Recreation Department joined forces with Clovershire’s Committe on Aging Well to create new leisure activities for the over 60’s in Cloverdale and the surrounding communities. One of the new courses offered is Senior Fencing, taught every Monday and Wednesday at the Nearly There Home for the Elderly and Infirmed in Cloverdale.

The seniors were reluctant to enroll in the class, thinking it difficult to hold a saber while maintaining one’s balance with a cane or walking frame. But after seeing it demonstrated, they reconsidered and the class quickly filled; it also helped when the Home’s Director ran a week of Errol Flynn Pirate Movies during the Movie and Mint Theater held in the Home’s Common Room.

The aged have their supper at 4:00 P.M. followed by warm milk laced with a sedative. Supper is usually followed on Wednesday’s and Friday’s by the Movie and Mint Theater. The residents get a video served with mints (peppermint patties). Popcorn is banned, the kernels are too hard on their dentures and bridges. The evenings festivities end for bedtime at 8:00 P.M.

“The old dears are magic at fencing,” said Jim Foyle, Director of the Shire’s Committee on Aging Well. “Safety comes first so actual contact is forbidden in Senior Fencing. We encourage the Dears to take a few steps, establish their balance then cross swords three times, then they repeat the process until exhaustion sets in. They get knackered quickly so the matches are short.”

The Home’s nurse is on hand to deal with anxiety and injury. Occasionally a spectator must be removed. The sport can be too much for those disturbed by a violent contact sport like Senior Fencing.

Spectators are encouraged to come to the matches and cheer the Seniors on. Please consider staying on past the match to listen to the residents talk. The old Dears love to tell stories and the staff have heard them over and over.

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