Loretta Davis knows when it's time to take a break

An OASIS volunteer for three years, Loretta Davis oversees the ExerStart program at Dunn Road Manor in St. Louis, an affordable housing development of Lutheran Senior Services. Twice a week, she leads her class of dedicated students in low-impact aerobics.

"Take your time! Know when to rest!" she tells the residents during the workout. Through her time with OASIS, Davis has earned a good understanding of the needs of older adults as they work to stay active.

ExerStart is just one of the many educational and fitness-related programs available at Dunn Road Manor, which serves as an OASIS hub for North St. Louis County.

"We've had a lot of good feedback from these programs," said Kimberly Jones-Brenson, Dunn Road Manor's service coordinator. "It's been such a positive experience. The residents come up and they tell me how much they enjoy what they're doing in class."

Other classes include "Point & Shoot," in which professional photographers meet with residents to discuss camera work and the technology behind their trade. In "Life History/Oral Stories," seniors are encouraged to share their experiences with their neighbors and commit their stories to writing. One of the most popular courses, "Healthy Eating Every Day," gives tips on nutrition, while "Safe at Home" talks about how to avoid falls.

"I love it. I need all of it," said Cleora Williams, a student in several OASIS classes. "It helps me stay active, and it keeps me from getting stiff. I've had some health issues, and this is doing a great job of helping me get back in shape."

"Our partnership with OASIS is a perfect match," said Marinda Zanders, manager of Dunn Road Manor. "When you talk about older adults living life to the fullest, there's no better key to a full life than education."