Connect with Respect - Vital Seniors Armchair Exercises

Armchair Exercises
Vital Seniors, St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church
September 27-November 15, 2016
2 older adult participants (aged 55 years or older)
4 people involved in total

Describe the purpose of the program/activity/event:

The purpose of the class was to enhance physical and mental well-being of participants targeting those with mobility issues. We provided a 10 week class to help increase their flexibility, coordination, and sense of balance through regular exercise with the use of a chair. We advertised in Senior Scope and had hoped to get at least 20 participants. We charged $20 for 10 classes and the price included a Vital Seniors yearly membership of $10, so the class was affordable at $1 per time.

Briefly describe what you think made your program/activity/event special? Why do you think it was successful?

It was special because it was a 10 week class, it targeted those with mobility issues by using an armchair, by increasing coordination and a sense of balance to help prevent falls. (Seniors who have falls and break a hip end up in hospital, a large percentage end up in seniors homes and a high percentage don't recover and pass away). I got the opportunity to write-up ads and posters and interact with folks as well. I got to arrange the class with the instructor which was more experience for me. It was successful because the two participants were new members to Vital Seniors. Both thought the program has helped improve their mobility, and provided social interaction. One member (50%) has taken advantage of the yearly membership and has joined the Carpet Bowling group, and has expressed interest in joining the monthly luncheon group. The member has definitely enhanced her mental and physical well-being and is enhancing the mental well-being of those she interacts with.

How inviting or appealing was this activity for the older adults involved?

Very, the location was accessible by car, walking, or bus, it was in the upstairs hall which is warm and inviting.

How easy was it (for the older adults) to participate?

Just show up. The instructor rescheduled a few classes to fit everyone's schedule when any of them could not make it that day.

How likely will the older adults who were involved participate again in the future?

Both would participate again.

What advice would you give other groups who may be considering the planning and facilitation of a similar opportunity for older adults?

For advertising and getting the message out, try to use social media as well as the more traditional methods like the newspaper and posters as a lot of seniors are computer savvy.

What key learning (pearls of wisdom) would you like to share about your experience in "connecting with respect" and creating opportunities for social engagement of older adults in Manitoba?

(1) If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. (2) Put yourself out there. (3) Any experience is a learning experience. (4) Most folks are just waiting for someone else to do it. If you can, be that person. They will follow. (5) You can't please all of the people all of the time. (6) As I've aged I've never met so many folks who say they want to do so much but when you call on them they disappear so I have to sometimes operate as follows lead, follow, or get out of the way.

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