The Story of How Home Based Tai Chi Sessions has Improved a Sense of Wellbeing in a 64 Year Old

“These Days I Feel Energetic and Feel the Need to be Productive”

Five years ago, one of Bihani’s Member underwent an open heart surgery after which he bound himself to rest and recover at home. However, limiting himself at home most of the times resulted in his lack of confidence and ultimately a feeling of loneliness, he shared.

When Bihani Social Venture Pvt. Ltd, the first and only social enterprise working in the field of ageing in Nepal, first met with Uncle, he shared with us about his health status and his willingness to stay healthy. He said with a warm smile, “I have seen on YouTube that a lot of elders in China are doing exercises to maintain good flexibility. My wish is to be healthy like them with such exercises.” We immediately informed Uncle about Bihani’s home based service (HBS) of Tai Chi for senior citizens and he expressed keen interest to take up our standard four free trial classes. Four classes later, Uncle signed up for 10 home based Tai Chi sessions for three times a week.

A Tai Chi session plan was designed together with Uncle following a Client/ Patient Centered Care (PCC) approach keeping Uncle in the centre of decision making and considering his interest, for best outcomes.

“Tai Chi is an art embracing the mind, body and spirit – originating in ancient China, tai chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits” (Tai Chi for Health Institute, 2018).

The positive change in his overall sense of wellbeing was evident soon after his routinely Tai Chi sessions with Bihani, when he informed that he has begun gardening, and going out and about. Uncle also signed up for Bihani’s membership for senior citizens to enjoy discounted benefits at various outlets and to involve himself in various inter- generational events and activities organized by Bihani such as musical events and members’ potluck, among others.

Uncle informed, “Prior to learning Tai Chi I usually felt lethargic, my entire body cramped and I used to yawn a lot but now I feel much better and my breathing has improved. These days I feel energetic and feel the need to be productive.” Acknowledgement of our effective services from individuals like Uncle and seeing improvement in their sense of wellbeing is what motivates us each day to continue on with our work with seniors.