Active and Strong Through SeniorFITness

United Methodist Communities recently opened SeniorFITness at United Methodist Communities at The Shores (Ocean City). It follows the unique and highly beneficial program’s implementation at United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen (Newton).

SeniorFITness, a venture with United Methodist Communities partner Alliance Rehab, is led by professional exercise physiologists. The multidisciplinary program designed to be both fun and functional for older adults, improves strength, balance, mobility and mental well-being for residents through a wide assortment of activities. One of the keys to preventing a fall as people age is improving balance.

“One day we may be playing volley ball or doing chair yoga and the next we may concentrate on healthy hands or hosting a seminar on the benefits of senior fitness,” says Karen Cooper, exercise physiologist at The Shores.

“It focuses on supporting independence, safety and quality of life for all residents,” sales director Ryan Champion said. “This is a big deal for us — a great program. No matter what level of care you need, there is something that you can do that will make you stronger.”

Dr. Thomas Sattler, the director of education and program development for the SeniorFITness division of Alliance Rehab and a University of Illinois Chicago associate professor emeritus, chaired the graduate specialization in applied exercise physiology and taught undergraduates. He also coordinated the training and conditioning programs for the Chicago Blackhawks professional hockey team (1978-1981) and the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team (1982-1988).

SeniorFITness has a dedicated space on the second floor. Residents also learn the how and why behind the program’s movements and activities. Working on balance and stretching help to prevent injuries and to increase the longevity of completing daily activities without assistance.

“Since participating in SeniorFITness, I’ve noticed a higher stamina and an ability to perform daily activities such as walking and getting up from a chair with minimal assistance,” comments a resident.

Physical exercise also presents a great avenue to meet others and take on age appropriate physical challenges in a friendly supportive environment. Overall there are huge benefits for those that participate in SeniorFITness. Staying active is crucial to maintaining a high quality of life, even at an advanced age.

The United Methodist Communities  belief that cognitive, physical and social activity work together in establishing overall health, lay at the core of the resident offerings. Ultimately, all five assisted living communities, which maintain a wide variety of optional programs dedicated to keeping seniors active and strong, will implement SeniorFITness.