Director of Wellness and Resident Services Shareen Klasing wanted to encourage KBH residents to continue their fitness routines when COVID required in-person classes to stop indefinitely. At first, she and her son created 30-minute videos that they placed on YouTube for residents to view. Then something quite amazing occurred. Suddenly, Shareen had more residents participating on Zoom than she had in her pre-pandemic sessions. Her class size more than doubled and the enthusiasm was incredible. “I received immediate feedback that our residents liked the Zoom classes. Most felt it was much more convenient to do their exercises at home,” Shareen said. Word spread quickly about Shareen’s classes and soon she had resident snowbirds participating from many different states. Conversations were flowing with everyone catching up on the latest news. Zoom class had become an online gathering place to exercise, socialize and stay connected. “I realized we were hitting so many dimensions of wellness with the class – such as emotional wellbeing, social, physical, and intellectual pursuits. I really love the commitment they all bring to this class,” she said. Shareen joined our Life Enrichment Department in 2015 after doing volunteer work for two years in Suzanne’s Place. She earned practicum hours to earn a certification as a Validation Therapist. Validation Therapy is a specific technique of communicating with people who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The KBH experience turned out to be very positive for Shareen because she was able to create programs and activities, using her training. Eventually, Shareen transitioned to a full-time staff member, leading fitness classes and assisting with a variety of activities and programs for independent living residents. She also took the lead with the KB Adorables and Men in Black dance troupe. Shareen stays fit by walking and running. One of her favorite places to visit is the Morton Arboretum. Another favorite hobby for Shareen is reading. She finds cooking to be a relaxing interest and enjoys spending time with her husband, John, and her three grown children, Steven, Johnny, and Charlotte. Being part of our KBH family is important to Shareen, and she enjoys planning a variety of activities that keep our residents engaged and connected. “I’m so happy to be here and I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be a part of this community,” she said.