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

Pirates have a chance to win pennant

Mid Island Pirates sweep Langley Blaze, four midweek games remain

Nanaimo tubber sets all-time record at bathtub race

Justin Lofstrom completes course in fastest-ever time

Junior A Timbermen even up playoff series with defending champs

Nanaimo doubles up Coquitlam 10-5 in Game 4 of best-of-seven BCJALL semifinal

Eight displaced after fire in Nanaimo’s south end

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responds to fires on Strickland Street and old Jolly Miner pub

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Fact-check pipe dream

We deserve more transparency now that Trans Mountain is in public hands, says letter writer

Nanaimo tubber sets all-time record at bathtub race

Justin Lofstrom completes course in fastest-ever time

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

Tribal Journeys go through Snaw-Naw-As, Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus territory

Paddlers now in Ladysmith en route to final stop in Lummi, Wash.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Housing and opioid crises the real threats

Letter writer shocked that someone could blame vulnerable citizens for Nanaimo’s tarnished image

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

Most Read