It’s a community gem nestled into another community gem. Eastcastle Place senior living community on the Eastside of Milwaukee is a beautiful historic jewel on the Eastside of Milwaukee. And nestled within its walls is Eastcastle Place’s aquatic center, which the community has graciously opened for classes to residents throughout the area. “The pool at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital closed several years ago. Aquatic programs are so beneficial to everyone, and opening our pool to area residents was a good way to actively engage with the community,” said Willy Henrich, fitness and aquatics manager at Eastcastle Place.
Henrich, who joined Eastcastle this past fall, studied exercise science/kinesiology at Iowa State and chose to work with seniors because of his desire to help them stay as independent and healthy as possible. “At Eastcastle, we offer a lot of classes to get people out of their rooms, have them moving and more engaged,” he said.
Scott Anderson, fitness specialist who joined the staff shortly after Henrich, has a degree in kinesiology from UW Madison, and experience in adaptive fitness. “I’ve worked with individuals with all levels of abilities. I’ve coached a Paralympics swimmer with autism, who is now on the U.S. Paralympics swim team,” he said.
Anderson sees the aquatic center as an extension to the variety of exercise options offered at Eastcastle Place to help residents stay fit.
“I’m a problem-solver by nature. So, if someone hasn’t found a way to work out that is enjoyable and effective for them, I keep trying to figure something out. A great alternative is the pool because everyone benefits! Our aquatic center is a tremendous asset,” Anderson said, “Once people get in the pool, they find they’re able to do things that they haven’t been able to do for years. And they can socialize with others while doing it. “
Anderson, who teaches aqua aerobics and men’s water calisthenics said that the residents are glad that he gets in the water with them while he’s teaching. “I’m invested in what they’re doing, rather than sitting on the sidelines playing a video.”
In addition to the aquatic center, Eastcastle Place boasts a fitness center and holds exercise classes throughout the week for all interests and ability levels including yoga, toning, balance and posture, fit and stretch, and cardio. Both Anderson and Henrich also provide personal training services. “We’re always working hard so that we have something to meet every resident where they’re at,” said Henrich. “We then work to strike a balance so that we’re challenging the participants, but not to the point that they become frustrated.”
“We want to see everyone included in our fitness offerings and thriving,” said Anderson.