The demand for varied recreational activities at retirement homes

Neha AminPlanning for RetirementNovember 15, 2016
Active seniors tennis

At Pearl's Choice we've noticed that more and more users are inquiring about whether homes have fitness studios. 75% of users who have these inquiries mention that they are still very active. 


Current trends in senior living indicate there's been a dramatic shift toward seniors leading more active and engaged lives. Seniors are taking a hands-on role in staying physically and mentally healthy. They demand wellness programs and also lifelong learning programs. Does your community have what it takes to help seniors maintain an active lifestyle? 


Designing fitness centers for seniors entails creating a dedicated space that caters the numerous needs of the many different generations. In most homes some space is dedicated to exercise equipment, but typically group exercise classes are held in other areas of the building. Pools still seem to be a hit-or-miss in established senior living communities. 


Here are some exercise trends that can help you make the most of your facilites: 


  • Seniors Fitness Professional. A highly motivated and inspirations fitness pro can make all the difference in keeping your residents active, and will be able to lead activities suited to seniors at various levels of abilities. 


  • Yoga. Yoga can become increasingly popular over the last 10 years and the popularity continues to grow within the senior community. The sequences of stretching and poses used in yoga can help to tone and build muscle. For seniors, yoga can also help to lessen arthritis pain, improve joint flexibility, lower blood pressure and can serve as a relaxation aid, which can lead to a better night's sleep. 


  • Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a relaxing, meditative exercise that can help build strong core muscles and relax tense muscles in the body. Tai Chi is low-impact, which can make it ideal for senior citizens just beginning a workout routine. Tai Chi can help with arthritis pain, lowering blood pressure and enhancing mental acuity as well as concentration. Tai Chi is even used to help dementia and Alzheimer's patients. 


  • Water-based exercise. Swimming, water walking and water aerobics are low-impact exercises that hose a wide-variety of benefits for senior citizens. Swimming and water aerobics are excellent choices of exercise for seniors because they are easy on the body and place little to no stress on the joints. 


  • Walking. Walking isn't exactly anything new or trendy. With walking, senior citizens can stick with the tried and true. Walking is one of the best ways to help improve overall health, increase stamina, maintain heart health and tone muscles. 


It is important to keep in mind that just because the residents are retired from their careers does not mean that they are retired from life. Providing opportunities for participants to learn new things, meet new people, discuss new concepts, and see new places builds a purpose-oriented lifestyle in your community. If more than 50% of your activities calendar includes routine programs like cards and sit-and-listen offerings, it's time to take a fresh look at how you can help achieve the lifestyle seniors are looking for. 


You can build a community that frees seniors, encourages them, and enhances their quality of life. This is a residence type where you don't have to look very hard to see what a difference you've made in people's lives. 

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