There’s no slowing down Rose Arciaga. Moving to Canada from the Philippines almost five decades ago, she’s always found ways to stay healthy and fit, staving off the diabetic and heart conditions impacting many of her siblings. “Being active gives me such a sense of accomplishment. It’s the best!” she says.

In 2005, Rose’s daughter introduced her and her husband, Robert, to the Scarborough Centre YMCA. “It was definitely the best change in our lifestyle since retirement,” Rose says. She was instantly hooked and, before we temporarily closed our doors to help slow the spread of COVID-19, she would visit five days a week. “The Y is my home away from home,” she explains. For Rose, it’s about more than maintaining physical health. It’s about reducing isolation, getting social, and making meaningful connections.

“When I wake up every morning, I feel like I have purpose. It’s so much better than just sitting at home, in front of the TV, doing nothing,” explains Rose. Robert also joins in often.

Between her favourite Y classes, now available online, Rose has gotten to know many other older adults. “It’s very social and fun. Everyone gets along — we’re like a big family here.”

Getting social is a big part of Rose’s overall health and well-being, she explains. “We exchange pleasantries, chat, and build friendships. We have luncheons, celebrate various occasions, and share our stories. It’s so great to be a part of it.”

Rose believes everyone in her community — not only the growing number of older adults, but also young children, teens, and families — should have access to the same opportunities for physical and social well-being she enjoys at the Y. That’s why she gives, every month. “A gift to the Y, no matter how big or how small, matters. I know mine matters,” says Rose. In fact, she recently doubled her donation in support of others in her community.

“It feels good to know I’m helping provide financial assistance to older adults who cannot afford it, to children, youth, and families too,” she says. “I want everyone to be able to come here.”

While we may not be able to use our Health and Fitness centres at the moment, many older adults like Rose are finding the same inspiring classes and community connections they know and love on The Bright Spot. Browse our Activities page to try some of Rose’s favourite classes from your own home for free! We look forward to seeing Rose and all of our other members again in person, but until then, we have The Bright Spot to help us keep connected.