Today, most seniors are fully aware of the benefits and importance of a solid exercise program. There is ample evidence showing that being physically active at an older age has many benefits, including improving the quality of life, mental well-being, and maintaining lower stress levels. Unfortunately, many seniors are not able to exercise for the following reasons:
- Some live alone and are afraid to venture out solo
- Many have a variety of medical disorders, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, etc.
- Many live in apartments with no nearby access to a garden or recreation area
- Some may not know what type of exercises are safe to participate in
- Lack of motivation
Fortunately, there are senior wellness programs in almost every city and town in the United States. For seniors, joining a wellness program has the following benefits:
- Increases physical wellbeing: In a formal wellness program, the activities are structured, planned, and directed by fitness professionals. The exercises selected are designed to meet the needs of the senior, such as improving balance, gait, core strength, and range of motion. Further, the exercises selected are unlikely to cause any complications (e.g., falls), and the senior is constantly monitored for progress.
- Increases motivation: By working with a group, a wellness program provides more motivation for seniors to become physically active. Each member will encourage one another and, thus, the benefits are spread to everyone.
- Provides a social outlet: Wellness programs not only have physical benefits but also provide a social outlet. Many wellness programs arrange dance lessons, yoga, water exercises, outdoor events, and even trips to nearby recreational areas.
- Reduces isolation: By increasing socialization, wellness programs also help reduce isolation in seniors. Residents may play bingo, card games, go to the movies, have a house party, or create crafts. All these activities can help bring seniors together, enhance their mood, and lower the risk of feeling isolated.
- Offers variety: One of the biggest advantages of joining a wellness program is the available range of activities. This helps avoid monotony and increases motivation. Exercises may range from tai chi, swimming, dancing, aerobics, yoga, walking in the recreation park, and so on.
- Increases emotional wellness: Another great benefit of joining a wellness program is emotional wellness. When seniors work out in groups, it provides comfort, increases self-confidence, and enhances self-esteem. With members supporting one another, it helps seniors cope with the daily rigors of life. In addition, many wellness centers also provide grief and mental health counseling in the form of an informal circle of seniors, peer groups, and interaction with staff members.
- Enhances intellectual stimulation: When seniors join a wellness program, it also engages the brain because of the varied activities that are often included, like educational seminars, trivia contests, reading groups, or computer workshops. This helps both cognitive and executive functions and sharpens the mind.
- Vocational wellness is another benefit of wellness programs Seniors can teach others about other arts, crafts, creating, repairing, or solving problems. Sharing knowledge can be of immense benefit both in and out of the home.
- Environmental awareness is also a benefit of wellness programs: Many wellness programs enhance the lives of seniors by taking them outdoors to the park, zoo, shopping malls, community events, and other social events. This helps the senior become more familiar and acquainted with the environment and significantly enhances the quality of life.
- Enhances spiritual well-being: When seniors join a wellness program, it can reinforce their spiritual well-being. Groups can offer strength, hope, security, and peace. Many wellness programs nurture spiritual well-being by offering onsite yoga classes, meditations, music events, religious classes, and celebrations of religious holidays.
- Offers knowledge of fire safety: One other benefit of joining a wellness program is that it also offers advice on fire and home safety for seniors. Seniors are educated on things, like the use of non-skid rugs and safety grab bars, which can help decrease the risk of falls and injuries in the home.
- Aids with prevention: Another feature of a senior wellness program is that the staff keeps the seniors informed about the annual flu vaccines, getting eye check-ups, driving safely, and taking prescription medication as prescribed. Further, seniors are educated on dressing appropriately during winter and drinking ample water during the summer.
- Provides health benefits: Finally, all wellness programs offer a range of health benefits which include physical and emotional well-being. To nurture the mind, some wellness programs may offer regular health screenings, cognitive enhancement programs, health education, and, in some cases, they may even have a healthcare provider to regularly assess the individuals.
HOW DO I FIND A GOOD SENIOR CENTER?
The best way to find a good senior center near you is to speak to another senior. If you are computer savvy, you can do an online search, or speak to your healthcare provider or a social worker. A senior health and wellness center can help put a spark back in your life. There are several Cano Health facilities located throughout Florida, including in Broward, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Palm Beach.
Most senior wellness programs provide a wealth of health benefits as well as being a source of educational resources and social support. Spending a few hours at a senior wellness center regularly can revive good memories, help cope with lost members of the family, learn new skills, adapt to a new lifestyle, and, most of all, create a sense of belonging. Senior wellness programs help improve the quality of life by offering tips on how to lead healthier lives with optimal function. Cano Health specializes in caring for seniors and offers health and wellness programs to help maintain a good quality of life. Contact a facility near you today.