Seniors use gymnastics equipment for routines to improve their balance and flexibility. (Delta Gymnastics Society)

B.C. funds pilot program to get more seniors doing gymnastics

The $150,000 province-wide program aims to build fitness and balance

The B.C. government is establishing pilot projects for seniors at up to 16 gymnastics facilities around the province, based on a successful program in Delta.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Tuesday that the Delta Gymnastics Society’s Seniors Can Move program is getting $150,000 to keep its new program going and develop a 10-week model to pilot in other communities. The program was established in 2018 with one-time federal funds.

“It’s the first of its kind in B.C. to get seniors on the gymnastics floor to improve their strength and agility,” Dix said. “This creative program is already making a big difference to the health of seniors here in Delta, through improving balance, building confidence in movement and helping with fall prevention.”

The growing senior population and increasing lifespan have become the biggest challenge for health care systems across the country, putting pressure on senior care services even as their workforce sees a rising number of retirements.

The 2016 Canadian census showed for the first time that seniors outnumbered young people, as birth rates have declined and the postwar baby boomers enter their retirement years.

RELATED: Home care declines as B.C. senior population grows

RELATED: Community program reaches out to isolated seniors

The province has struggled with a range of pressures, including staff levels in long-term care facilities and increasing demand for home-based care. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie reported in January that the number of seniors receiving home support services decreased by 1.4 per cent in 2018, as B.C.’s senior population grew by four per cent. The population of seniors older than 85 grew by five per cent, according to the latest B.C. seniors monitoring report.

Dix and Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon said the gymnastics program is also a way for seniors to prevent isolation as their physical abilities decline.

“Social connectivity can help them stay at home and in their communities longer, and we know how important that is for seniors,” Kahlon said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

CHECK THIS OUT: Libraries as safe spaces for the homeless

Anne DeGrace writes about an upcoming movie and talk focused on libraries and homelessness

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

PLACE NAMES: Kaslo and Sandon neighbourhoods

Narrow valley saw Sandon’s main street over a creek

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read