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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberni Farmers Institute offers slaughter training course

Alberni Valley residents interested in obtaining a Class D Slaughter License can take part

Spill response vessel arrives in Port Alberni

Base isn’t finished, but team is ready for emergencies

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

NIC practical nursing students hone skills on pandemic’s front line

‘It also has become clear that this is my thing,’ – NIC practical nursing student Breanna Patterson

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Most Read