Statistics show that one in three senior Canadians experiences a fall each year (for people age 80 or more, it’s closer to one in two). Falls are, of course, a source of concern for injuries that can occur. They can lead to many major health complications. Broken hips can be just the start of medical concerns for elderly people. Seniors are prone to falls due to the biological factors of aging, as well as the possible onset of osteoporosis, use of medications and other factors associated with aging.
The Community Care Health & Care Network has some “sage advice” for seniors concerned with keeping healthy and physically fit as they age. After a summer hiatus, the popular SAGES exercise program (Sage Advice & Gentle Exercises for Seniors) has returned in 10 different locations throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes. The weekly exercise sessions are designed to enhance safety and fitness in the lifestyles of seniors of all ages and health levels.
Each week, participants are led through a video presentation of gentle, low-impact exercises in a group setting. Volunteer trained facilitators lead the classes. The program is designed for people exercising at different fitness levels, as on-screen options pop up for participants to set their own pace.
Since launched by Community Care in 2002, the SAGES program has been recognized around the world for its benefits that help seniors make wise choices to improve quality of life and enhance independent living. The low-impact exercises improve cardiovascular endurance, balance, muscle and bone strength and flexibility – thus reducing risk of falls either in or outside of the home.
All physical activity is performed with supervision. The experienced volunteer facilitators have been trained in the course, and “safe and gentle” is their mantra. Participants also discuss improving safety in their homes, proper foot care and footwear, medication safety, nutritional meal preparation, community hazards and many more aspects of everyday life in order to identify – and hopefully eliminate – risks for falling. A minimal participation fee covers the costs of healthy snacks and facility rent.
Additionally, there’s a great social aspect that comes with a group of people gathering to enjoy each other’s company and to help by sharing experiences and insight. Social isolation can be a legitimate concern for many people living in rural communities.
A full schedule of the SAGES program is available at www.ccckl.ca.
For further information, contact Community Care at 705-324-7323 ext 301.