Member Hikes Historic European Trail with Help from Judson at Home

When a friend challenged Bill Jones to hike a portion of Spain’s Camino de Santiago last summer, he gladly utilized his Judson at Home membership  to give himself a leg up.

Bill and his wife Susan joined Judson at Home in 2006.They wanted to have a plan in place for their current and future healthcare needs as they grew older. First and foremost they needed home care support for Susan’s Parkinson’s Disease. Eventually she moved to Judson’s Healthcare Center where she receives 24-hour care. Bill visits her nearly every day, even bringing along their dog, Oliver.

“She considers it her home,” says Bill. “The Bruening staff is wonderful. Everyone works together as a team. I’m confident she’s well taken care of.”

With Susan’s healthcare needs taken care, Bill decided it was time to focus on nurturing his own health and wellness, and his eyes turned to the hike in Spain with his companion, Gary Mitchener.

The Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, is a spiritual journey that people of all faiths and backgrounds have traversed for more than a millennium. Think of it as Medieval Europe’s version of the Appalachian Trail. The nearly 500-mile route ends at the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain.

“I saw this as a contemplative, meditative journey,” says Bill. “But the trek can be difficult—lots of steep, downhill terrain. I needed to get in shape.”

Bill got in touch with Personal Trainer Scott Curtis who developed a fitness program that would not only build strength, but also endurance and balance. It also simulated the trail in Spain.

“We walked outside in the ravines along North Park Boulevard in Cleveland Heights,” says Bill. “It has a lot of roots, rocks and boulders – very much like the Camino de Santiago. He even outfitted me with a walking stick and a 15-pound backpack. He went the extra mile to simulate the trail so I was ready. “

Bill and Gary set out in August and spent three-and-a-half weeks completing several segments plus the final leg of the trail—about 165 miles overall.

His experience encouraged him to continue working with Scott and Judson at Home on his overall balance and upper body strength. He has also attended the Men’s Group that meets to discuss current events, and during the winter swims in Judson Park’s indoor heated pool.

“Judson inspired me to take charge of my own health, with a focus on prevention. All the tools are there to help me. It’s great to know that I have a plan in place to get the care I need when I need it. I believe you’re never too young to begin planning for your future. Why wait for a crisis?”

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Judson at Home at a Glance

As a member of Judson at Home, you have access to all the social, cultural and educational programs at any of Judson’s communities, as well as use of the fitness and wellness centers.

Other member benefits include:

  • A comprehensive team of professionals at your fingertips.
  • Proactive planning for the aging process, including annual comprehensive assessments and fitness plans.
  • Home safety checks performed by registered nurses.
  • Ensures preparedness in case of an emergency, including priority admission to Judson’s Rehabilitation Center (link to 5-star rating blog post) after hospitalization.
  • Access to Judson’s Memory Training Center program.
  • Handyman services for inside and around your home.

Judson at Home lets you stay at home and be the best you that you can be. If maintaining your independence in your own home is important to you, this program is for you.

Learn more about a Judson at Home membership.

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