We are one month into 2024, and if you haven’t yet set a New Year’s resolution, there is still time. Or perhaps you have a resolution, but are finding it isn’t achievable. If so, Let’s Walk, a local non-profit organization operating in the tri-county area, may be just what you’re looking for.
Let’s Walk is a free service founded by Lynn McCollum-Lasher, a Physical Therapist, who worked in home health care for 25 years. Let’s Walk promotes health and wellness by connecting walkers with trained walking volunteers who provide assistance, motivation and most importantly, socialization.
In 2022 there were 55.6 million adults over age 65 and 78.7% of them reported a sedentary or low activity lifestyle. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that walking is the most cost effective and accessible means of exercise. Walking helps maintain physical and cognitive independence in old age by preventing various health problems. NIH also ranks sedentary lifestyle as a threat to public health and reports that inactivity is the second leading cause of death. According to the CDC, walking can lower your risk for age related diseases, improve your balance and coordination, increase your confidence, and improve your social life.
Before entering the program, each walker must successfully qualify via an in home safety assessment performed by a skilled therapist. Each walking volunteer must pass a background check and undergo a one hour training session. Let’s Walk then connects qualified walkers with trained volunteers. Volunteers meet the walker at the walker’s home and assist them with a walk in their yard or neighborhood. The service is free and participation is open to everyone. Let’s Walk currently serves people in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.
As of 1/5/24, Let’s Walk has logged 1252 walks with 106 trained volunteers and 108 walkers. Currently there are 90 volunteers waiting to complete training and background checks and 23 walkers waiting for safety assessments.
Let’s Walk Is Now On Folly Beach! Thanks to the efforts of Mary Catoe, Let’s Walk is now available here on Folly Beach with a group of trained volunteers and a growing group of walkers. If you are interested in participating you can sign up at letswalk.us. Or call the office at 843-864-9295.
The goal of Let’s Walk is to improve the health and quality of life for our aging population while increasing intergenerational interactions. Making connections fosters empathy and understanding which strengthens our community. Let’s Walk is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is entirely funded through grants, sponsorships and generous private donors which allows Let’s Walk to provide the program at no cost to participants. All contributions are tax deductible and your support would be greatly appreciated.