St. Joseph catalog highlights classes

A newly released catalog detailing nearly 50 community health education classes offered by St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua is now available.

The classes are designed for all ages. Families, singles, couples and seniors are given high regard with classes tailored to a wide spectrum of interests related to acquiring or maintaining good health.

The award-winning hospital is the site of most of the free or low-cost programs, offerings focused on health and wellness, family fun and art activities, along with nutrition classes and cooking classes, exercise programs and a most popular entree – Dinner with the Doctors, a trio of gatherings that address caregiver challenges, emergency preparedness and support for Parkinson’s disease. The medics share their expertise and Celebrations Catering, a local enterprise, provides some fine fare for the dinner meetings.

Whitney Tave, community health educator, said the variety of programs offers something for everyone. A much anticipated Mommy-to-Be class, a one-time presentation, explores the facts and fiction about pregnancy and offers rock-solid information on many facets of the unique experience.

“There’s often a lot of support for new mothers but this helps moms-to-be learn about the journey,” said Tave. “It’s a chance to be with others who are sharing the experience.”

Other offerings in the parenting field include basic childbirth education, breastfeeding basics and a support group for new mothers, along with pediatric feeding forums and groups focused on support beyond the infant stage.

Tave also commends the many fitness programs offered through the community health education effort at St. Joe’s. She urges a look at Gentle Yoga, a six-week program, and Fit and Young for Life: A Strength and Balance Training Program for Seniors.

“When you get stronger, you feel more confident,” Tave said. “We try in all our classes to focus on physical health but also on the emotional and mental well being of the whole person.”

Certified trainer Sylvie Collins, of Hudson, demonstrated for Tave some of the exercises incorporated into the fitness program for seniors. She said the classes are a healthy opportunity for exercising and for socializing. Many senior students have taken the course several times over the years and made lasting friendships.

“The fitness classes are really good for building bone strength and boosting mental attitude,” Collins said.

“The seniors feel really good when they walk out.”

Elsewhere, one finds Mommy & Me Yoga @ Banyan Tree Yoga! – the name of a four-session class that welcomes mothers and babies six weeks and older. Another program, Super Sitters, for ages 11-13 shares in a single class a wide range of valuable skills that young people need to be responsible and safe while babysitting or in any environment.

Health and wellness offerings include: Advance Care Planning, AARP Smart Driver and Awakening the Inner Healer, along with Family and Friends CPR, Joint Replacement Education and Mindfulness Fundamentals. Additional selections focus on Organizing Tips for Busy Families and Thriving with Yoga, a support for those with cancer.”

Harmony Eberiel, coordinator for community health education, concurred with associates who give five-star ratings to the new roster of classes.

She said that the number of programs and the high quality of the information shared by so many experienced professionals has made the Community Health Education classes a natural resource for anyone seeking the knowledge that can help ensure a healthier life.

“We offer such a wide range of classes,” Eberiel said. “Many participants have gained peer support from other community members and developed lasting relationships through the programs.”

The catalog also notes programs offering nutrition and cooking advice. Ten one-visit assemblies are scheduled to inform people about anti-inflammatory foods, gastrointestinal health and diabetes risks, as well as impaired glucose tolerance – pre-diabetes. Hannaford supermarket classes and shopping tours are scheduled. Healthy fats, low-sodium diets, shopping organically on a budget and other topics are described fully in the publication.

Eberiel said that the programs are sure to elicit kudos by those who attend their choice of so many classes. Participation also presents a way to become better acquainted with the hospitals diverse staff.

“It’s a great way to get to know your community and learn to be healthy while meeting our clinicians,” Eberiel added.