The Tri-Cities Family YMCA has started a new program for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Michigan Chapter. LiveWise™ is an 8-week program that starts with 45 minutes of exercise followed by a one-hour information session. The fitness sessions are lead by Brandy Fisher, our Health and Wellness Coordinator. Alzheimer’s Association staff cover topics that include communication, legal and financial planning, safety and community resources.

LiveWise at Tri-Cities Family YMCA

LiveWise participants working out in the Cardio Theater.

The program is entering it’s fourth week and we caught up with participants to see how it’s going. There are currently four participants and they were keeping each other, and Brandy, in stitches during the entire exercise portion. “These two just go back and forth the whole time!” said Sharon, a spouse participating in the program. “Wait, let me flex!” replied Charlie, another participant.

A Place to Go

When asked what she liked best about the program, Joyce, another spouse in the program replied, “You got a place to go. You got people in the same situation that you are and you learn. It’s just fun. I mean we can all use exercise. It’s a benefit for the spouses and care partners too. After the exercise, there’s a class upstairs where you learn about coping and just different things. We had the legal department come in, we had safety, communication. You learn about things you should be doing but you don’t! [laughs] It’s really great.”

Joyce would love to see the program continue at the Y and encourages care partners of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to contact the the Greater Michigan Chapter to inquire about another session. For questions about the program, contact Sarah Lambaria, Program Coordinator, at 616-459-7467 or

When asked about her husband, Joyce said, “He loves to come. He looks forward to it. We wish there were more people in the class so encourage people to come because it’s perfect.”

Joyce, working out in the weight room before the information session.