Pacific Springs Residents, University of Nebraska at Omaha Athletes Play Chair Volleyball

Can you dig it? How about set it? Or even spike it? 

Seven players from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s volleyball team joined 40 residents – and some spectators – at Pacific Springs for a morning of chair volleyball, connections, and laughter.

Chair volleyball is a popular weekly wellness activity at Pacific Springs, said Rebecca Weeder, life enrichment manager. Since September is World Alzheimer’s Month, the community has been focusing on brain health. The game was held in the community room using chairs, a net, and an inflatable beach ball.

“We brought in UNO athletes to spice it up,” Rebecca said. “Volleyball provides physical exercise, socialization, laughter, and healthy competition, which is great for the body and the brain.”

Chair volleyball follows the same rules as a volleyball court, except that the players are seated. The teams – consisting of a combination of UNO players and residents – played two sets with rally scoring (both the serving team and the returning team can score a point anytime), just like regular volleyball. After the first set, the UNO players moved around so they could meet and play with all the participating residents.

Whole-person wellness is at the core of Immanuel’s exclusive Thrive programming. Community wellness and life enrichment staff create exceptional senior living experiences, encouraging residents to get healthy, and build social connections. 

In addition to physical exercise, chair volleyball reduces stress and boosts self-esteem and confidence. Pacific Springs Wellness Manager Chad Kumm said physical activity and social interaction are vital to the residents’ overall health.

“Exercise is very important, and with chair volleyball, it’s easy to overlook the amount they are getting,” he said. “They have to move spots each side out. They can be standing up just to sit back down in the next spot 15 or more times per game. Then they all use their arms to reach for the ball, and that gives them good range of motion movements.”

Rebecca said several Pacific Springs staff members stopped by the game to cheer the residents and the players on.

“The residents enjoyed seeing the staff work together as well,” Rebecca said.