Volunteer Spotlight: Joanne Fisher

Tai Chi workshop participant becomes star volunteer class leader!

AgeWell’s Tai Chi course is an evidence-based workshop that meets twice a week for 12 consecutive weeks, focusing on preventing falls and improving balance. Joanne was drawn to the movement and physical exercise aspect of the workshop combined with breathing and calming techniques. At the end of her 12 week class, Joanne learned that Ethos was looking for volunteer Tai Chi instructors and jumped at the chance! After attending instructor training in Brookline she has since taught beginner’s Tai Chi courses to other seniors. Now she also leads the Tai Chi Club, an opportunity though Ethos’ AgeWell Program for seniors who have completed the beginner’s course to continue with their Tai Chi practice. Joanne has enjoyed learning Tai Chi so much that she has used the internet to teach herself forms not covered in the beginner’s class and has introduced them to the Tai Chi Club!

Some benefits of practicing Tai Chi include improved balance and reduced risk of falling, greater flexibility and mobility, fewer arthritic problems, better sleep quality, and increased self-esteem. According to a study published by the Journal of Gerontology, practicing Tai Chi can help reduce the risk of falling by as much as 55%!

Joanne likes meeting the people that come to class and sharing life experiences. She is also happy to see so many active seniors – her oldest is 85! When she is not practicing Tai Chi, Joanne volunteers at Interfaith Services Food Pantry and enjoys knitting and swimming as well as working in a school as a substitute secretary.  She is happy that she is able to give back in so many ways, and recommends the Tai Chi Program to both interested participants and volunteers alike!

If you are interested in participating in or leading a Tai Chi course, please contact Ann Glora, Healthy Aging Program Manager, at or 617-477-6616.