Once your aging loved one has determined staying fit during the senior years is a concept he or she wants to wholeheartedly embrace, the next step is to find an exercise program that best fits your parent’s needs and goals. To help you find the senior exercise program that’s best for your loved one, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind.
Look for Age-Friendly FacilitiesYou don’t necessarily have to settle for a facility that’s exclusively for seniors, especially if your parent prefers being around people of all ages. More fitness centres are offering programs that accommodate older patrons. When you’re choosing a fitness facility for your loved one:
- Take a tour of the facility to get a feel for the atmosphere (e.g., background noise, amenities, locker rooms and shower areas, etc.)
- Ask questions about their senior-oriented programs
- See if your loved one can take a free trial class
- Ask a friend, family member, or caregiver to accompany your loved one
Sign Up for Program-Specific ClassesIf your loved one is interested a specific type of class (e.g., water aerobics, senior swimming, yoga, stretching, etc.), look for classes offered by:
- Local senior centres
- Churches and community centres
- Local libraries
Ask the Doctor for RecommendationsIf your loved one has certain health concerns (e.g., arthritis, recovering from recent surgery), ask the doctor to recommend a program that’s likely to work best for your parent. The doctor will also be able to advise you on whether your loved one may need assistance from a family member or professional caregiver to perform specific exercises safely. Some larger hospitals also offer senior exercise programs or sponsor local programs. Most seniors are able to enjoy the benefits of exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Senior home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Start a GroupHaving difficulty finding a program that’s right for your loved one? Try putting together an informal group of friends with similar fitness goals. Consider the following:
- Starting a mall walking group
- Scheduling regular neighbourhood walks
- Working with your local senior centre to start a program