Program of the Year Awarded to Longevity Fun Run

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Program of the Year Awarded to Longevity Fun Run

Posted on September 20, 2022

The Longevity Fun Run, an event hosted and sponsored by Linked Senior and Forest Hills of DC, in partnership with the District of Columbia Healthcare Association and PositiveAging Community, has been awarded the American Health Care Association (AHCA) Program of the Year award.

This award recognizes programs that bring together residents, families, staff, volunteers, and the community to celebrate residents and the services provided within a skilled nursing facility. Learn more here about the award and the other honorees receiving recognition this year.

The  Longevity Fun Run, now in its second year, has an intergenerational, positive, community building and industry image strengthening impact. The event was born of the need to celebrate our healthcare heroes and honor our elders during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a running event that connects assisted living and nursing home communities across the District of Columbia. Watch this BBC video to learn more about the event.

In 2021, the annual city-wide AARP luncheon to honor our centenarians was canceled due to Covid. To fill the gap, Forest Hills of DC, Meaghan McMahon, and Charles de Vilmorin of Linked Senior and DCHCA brought together 12 DCHCA members together to run 35+ miles on May 26, 2021, to celebrate the reopening of nursing homes in DC. A centenarian kicked off the Fun Run by handing a baton to the Forest Hills of DC Board Chair and Director of Maintenance. They ran the baton to the next home, handing it to a resident living with dementia. She handed the Baton to a Director of Dining, who ran the baton to the next resident waiting at another home, and so on. In just one day, 5 centenarians participated in the Fun Run, along with many other residents, volunteers, and staff. If you’re interested in creating your own Longevity Fun Run learn more here.

In 2022, the lead epidemiologist for DC Health asked to be part of this community building event to honor the senior living residents we all love. She ran with a Forest Hills of DC Board member and a CNA. This year on May 12, 2022, Forest Hills of DC and Linked Senior successfully asked the DC Council to pass a proclamation that May 2022 be decreed as “Old People Are Cool” (OPAC) month to honor our elders, to take a stance against ageism, to celebrate the wisdom our elders have to offer, and to lift those healthcare workers who care for our residents. Volunteers passed out flowers and cheered on runners throughout all quadrants of the city.

The event was an amazing success: it involved residents, particularly focusing on active roles for the eldest of residents for Older Americans Month, generated positive staff and resident morale, garnered positive press for senior living strengthening its public image, involved policy makers in declaring OPAC month, and Dept of Health participation in the Fun Run.

In building a sense of greater community with and around senior living residents, this event involved government council representatives, DOH, SNFs, ALs, Board members, Dept Heads, and CNAs, all on a level playing field. Many people, including Steve Gurney, Founder of The Positive Aging Community, noted that it was powerful to see not just the handing off the baton at each site, but the energetic exchange between teams running, as many had friends waiting to greet them when they arrived, reminding all of us about how we are connected in this purposeful work we do. Some residents held batons, some cheered, some made banners and artwork to celebrate the day. Another resident helped plant the garden where the event kicked off.

To learn more, contact Tina Sandri, CEO of Forest Hills of DC at: