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DOROT Westchester

Wellness Program for Seniors

Celebrating 20 Years of DOROT’s Wellness Program

button  Wellness Workshops and Exercise Classes
button  Senior Café
button  Kol DOROT: Singing
button  The Memory Tree
button  For Seniors at Home — Classes on the Telephone
button  Wellness Program Guidelines

If you are new to the Wellness Program and have not participated in the past, you must sign up with Christine Hodan, Wellness Program Assistant, and fill out our Wellness Participation Information Form. Please call Christine at
(917) 441-3743 for an appointment.

Wellness Workshops

Roses and Thorns Discussion Group
Tuesdays, December, January & February: 10:15-11:15 am     No Group: Jan. 20th
Sandy Warshaw, LCSW
Spend some time sharing your experiences and get to know new people and old friends. In this on-going group, you will have the chance to discuss many topics- childhood, work, family, seasonal happenings, philosophical perspectives and more recent life events. Take a new look at the past and learn from each other.

*Mindfulness-Based Meditation     ***Pre-Registration Required***
7 Thursdays, Jan. 8, 15, 29 & Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26: 11-12 pm
Amy Gross
This program is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. Meditation can reduce stress, lower emotional reactivity, improve self-esteem, ease disturbances of sleep and mood, strengthen the immune system and increase the sense of well-being. We will review the meditation technique and practice.
***You must pre-register for this class; call Christine (917) 441-3743.

*Special Series for Staying Safe & Steady     ***Pre-Registration Required***
3 Fridays, January 9, 16, 30: 12:15-1:15 pm
Susan Servetnick, Physical Therapist, Director of Back into Balance & in2balance classes
Join us to learn about an exciting, innovative exercise program for working out the wobbles and restoring confidence. These dynamic series of lecture and practice will include principals of good posture and balance as well as exercises to help prevent falls and stay active. Susan and her staff will share safety tips to prevent falls inside and outside your home as well.
***You must pre-register for this class; call Christine (917) 441-3743.

Friday Chat with a Weill Cornell Doctor - Questions & Answers
7 Fridays, Jan. 9, 16, 30 & Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27: *** 11-11:20 am

Each week you will have the opportunity for a friendly chat with an MD.

*Knitting Circle     ***Pre-Registration Required - call Christine (917) 441-3743
2 Mondays, January 12 & February 9: 2:15-3:15 pm
Christine Hodan, Wellness Program Assistant & Experienced Knitter

All levels of knitters are invited to join us for a relaxing and fun experience. Christine will be available to help you learn to knit or assist you with your projects.

Book Discussion Group
2 Mondays, January 26 & February 23: 2:15-3:15 pm
Erica Shein, Discussion Leader

In January, we will discuss The World’s Fair by E.L. Doctorow. The book for February will be announced later.

Opera and Song
Friday, February 6: 12:15-1:15 pm
Ellen Chandler’s Creative Opera Co. Ltd

Join us for a special program of well- known opera and musical comedy with narration by Ellen Chandler’s Creative Opera Company, Ltd.

Prepared and Confident: Self-Defense for Seniors
Friday, February 13: 12:15-1:30 pm
Certified Self-defense Instructor, The Center for Anti-Violence Education, Brooklyn

Self-defense for seniors deals more with not showing fear than with ways to physically fight back. Strength to protect oneself comes from many things, including alertness and awareness of your surroundings- a confident presence and an understanding of your capabilities. You can strengthen yourself by becoming more prepared, which is important at all ages. This workshop is for seniors of all sizes, body types and physical fitness levels. We can work with your injury or disability: please join us for an inclusive workshop!

Exploring Shakespeare- Exercise for the Brain
Friday, February 20: 12:15-1:30 pm
Leo Schaff, Singer, Songwriter & Teaching Artist
From “To be or not to be” to “All the world’s a stage,” William Shakespeare wrote some of the finest words in the English language. We’ll demystify and discuss “The Bard’s” big ideas and beautiful poetry. Reading "The Bard" aloud truly brings his words to life, and, in this session, we'll read some of his greatest pieces as a group for study, conversation and to improve our expression, voice and vocabulary.

Ageism, Attitudes, and Aging
Friday, February 27: 12:15-1:15 pm
Sheila Roher, MPH, Founder of Radical Age Lab
Over the past 30 years, social researchers have documented how negative attitudes towards aging actually contribute to the very outcomes we fear. Social isolation, lack of appropriate services, and ageism are issues faced by many older adults. Some people do not realize that seniors who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender experience additional complexities and challenges. Sheila Roher, MPH, a veteran of the feminist and LGBT movements, sees aging as an issue that like gender, sexual orientation, and race—requires a social movement approach to transform our attitudes, practices, and policies. Come to expand your knowledge, ask questions, and share your own stories.


*Tai Chi Easy™, & Chair Yoga
6 Mondays, Jan. 5, 12, 26 & Feb. 2, 9, 23: 11-12 pm
Melissa "Mati" Elstein, Certified Tai Chi Easy™ Facilitator,
Increase balance, coordination and vitality with a class that combines Tai Chi Easy™ with Qigong and Chair Yoga. Tai Chi Easy™ is a simplified, yet meditative version of Tai Chi created by Roger Jahnke, Doctor of Oriental Medicine. This form can be practiced seated. Yoga poses gently strengthen and stretch the body while you use a chair for support. You may attend any or all the classes; no experience necessary. (Please do not wear perfume or scented lotions to class)
*Medical clearance and permission from the program director are required; call Christine at (917) 441-3743 for information and pre-registration.

*Gentle Strengthening and Stretching
6 Mondays, Jan. 5,12, 26 & Feb. 2,9, 23: 1:00 2:00 pm
7 Thursdays, Jan. 8,15, 29 & Feb.5,12,19, 26: 1:30-2:30 pm
Tia Speros-Harker, Fitness Instructor

Yes, you can turn back the clock! Learn simple exercises using bands and weights. Increase joint flexibility, mobility and balance, halt bone loss and prevent fractures. Most exercises are done in the chair.
*You must arrive 10 minutes before class; late comers will not be allowed in. Medical clearance and permission from the program director are required; call Christine at (917) 441-3743 for information.

*Mr. Gu’s Exercise     No Class: No Class: Tuesday, 1/20 & Friday, 1/23
Tuesdays & Fridays, January & February: 11:30 - 12:10 pm
Cheng-de Gu, Martial Arts Instructor
Lift your spirits and move toward health in Mr. Gu’s unique exercise class. Mr. Gu focuses on increasing immunity and spinal flexibility. Learn simple, gentle exercises based on Chinese Medicine and designed by Mr. Gu especially for seniors, to increase energy and help relieve incontinence, constipation, insomnia, digestive disorders and many other illnesses. Open to all levels of experience.
*Medical clearance and permission from the program director are required. Call Christine at (917) 441-3743 for information and pre-registration.

Senior Café on the 7th Floor

Tuesdays, January & February: 12:15 2:00 pm No café: Jan. 20th
Join us for tea, cookies and great conversation. We have wonderful volunteers who host and hostess. The 7th floor is friendly, comfortable and sunny- a lovely place to sit and schmooze. You are welcome to bring lunch.

Kol DOROT: Singing

5 Thursdays, Jan. 8, 15, 29 & Feb. 5, 19, 26: 2:50-3:55 pm
Scott Stein, Pianist, Composer & Arranger
If you enjoy the music of Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and all the other wonderful songwriters from the 1920's to the 1960's, you'll love singing with Kol DOROT! You don't have to read music or even sing well....just love getting together with friendly people every week to sing the songs that hold special memories! We do a little Yiddish and a little Hebrew singing, too. No audition required!


DOROT is pleased to host The Memory Tree, a program specifically designed for people with mild memory problems and their caregivers. The Memory Tree believes that the best way to fight the aging process—including the loss of memory—is through mental and physical fitness. Each week join The Memory Tree for a wide variety of classes and workshops.
To register and learn more about The Memory Tree, please contact Elizabeth Fine, LCSW at 917-656-0558.

For Seniors at Home — Classes on the Telephone

For seniors and caregivers who can't come to DOROT, we offer classes on the telephone via University Without Walls. These teleconference programs bring learning, laughter, friendship, mental stimulation, and access to resources and peers right into the home. Registration can be done over the phone or by mail; scholarships are available. Our staff is happy to call and assist with course selection and can read the brochures to seniors with visual impairments. To get more information and register for University Without Walls, please call Melissa Santiago-Esparza at (212) 769-2850.

Wellness Program Guidelines

  • Fee: $5 per class, Scholarships available
  • Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before class
  • Wear sneakers or flat rubber soled shoes to class
  • You must fill out a Wellness Participant Information Form
  • To participate in exercise classes, you must speak with Wellness Program staff and bring a note from your doctor

All classes will be held at 171 West 85th Street, 2nd Floor
Call Christine Hodan for details - (917) 441-3743

DOROT's Wellness Program for Seniors was created in 1994 by Karen Fuller, the Director of DOROT's Health and Nutrition Services, who is trained in Social Work, Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture.

If you are new to the Wellness Program and have not participated in the past, you must sign up with Christine Hodan, Wellness Program Assistant, and fill out our Wellness Participation Information Form. Please call Christine at (917) 441-3743 for an appointment.

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