Lora Underwood: A Cheerleader for Health and Wellness


Since 2015, Lora Underwood has been offering health and wellness classes and activities for the residents living at The Thome Rivertown Neighborhood Affordable Assisted Living in Detroit.  Lora offers classes two days a week for one hour each, including chair aerobics, strength building exercises, stretching, and flexibility. 

“In general, I try to encourage as much movement as possible so older adults can stay active and mobile,” says Lora.  “They get really excited when we play music from their era.  Activities with music, such as line dancing, help motivate movement.”

Upon retiring from the Michigan Court of Appeals after 36 years of services as a judicial assistant, Lora followed her passion for health and fitness by becoming a master trainer and program coordinator for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. 

Chronic diseases such as arthritis and kidney disease can make movement more difficult, Lora says, but “if they keep moving, it helps.  I understand the extra effort it takes to come to exercise, for example, residents who are on dialysis.  I encourage them to work at their own pace and do what they can do.  I say, ‘Challenge yourself and you’ll be surprised at what you can do.’  Your body will thank you.”

Says Lora, “I enjoy my job, and I enjoy older adults.  I love seeing the joy on their faces when we interact.  It feels good to be part of their health and well-being.  You have to have a heart for older adults; they can tell when you care.  I’m their cheerleader.”

To support Health and Wellness through the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation’s Life Enrichment initiative, contact the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation at 734.433.1000 ext. 7397 (east) or 616.577.2297 (west). Or click here to make a secure online gift.