Senior Moments from H.O.M.E.

Older Americans Month 2015: Fitness program keeps seniors from falling

Posted by Kara Wackrow on May 11, 2015 10:01:00 AM

May is Older Americans Month. The theme of this year’s celebration of older adults is “Get into the Act.” Throughout the month we are highlighting activities and personal stories from our Intergenerational Housing program and how it helps seniors stay active in their own lives and in the community.

This week guest blogger Kara Wackrow tells us about a new exercise program at Nathalie Salmon House designed to keep seniors moving!


New Movement Program keeps seniors from falling

Let’s face it, the older you get, the creakier your bones become. Movement becomes less frequent for the elderly but more crucial for body and brain maintenance. It seems that with the elders we work with, unless they have someone to exercise with or encourage them, most likely they aren’t going to move unless they have to.

At H.O.M.E. we like to pride ourselves on helping seniors maintain their independence, which means prevention of long-term debilitating rehab facilities and inevitably… the nursing home. The nursing home is a fated word around here, and we do all we can to help people avoid living in long-term care facilities unnecessarily.

Fall Prevention: A good reason to “Get into the Act”

With one out of three adults over 65 falling each year, falls are a real risk for older adults. Falls are also the biggest reason why seniors end up in nursing homes. Fall prevention is a serious safety concern that can really impact a seniors’ independence.   

How do you prevent falling? By strengthening your muscles through movement.

A new exercise program that started in March at H.O.M.E.'s senior housing program is keeping residents on their toes. Staff recently implemented a weekly 30 minute class that takes place in the community rooms on the first floor of the Nathalie Salmon House.

Since it takes place in their own building and is a great group activity, some residents have grown to look forward to the program. Ed, a resident who participates in the program, states, “It makes me feel better to move around. I like these classes, they help me loosen up my joints.”   

Making Fitness FUN

We offer a variety of different fitness teachers made up of staff and volunteers.

IMG_20150303_110553290_HDR_2One of our social work interns from the University of Chicago SSA, Shefy Simon, teaches Bollywood and line dancing. She also takes the seniors on spring n’ fit walks through our east Rogers Park neighborhood. Ella Getz, a volunteer, teaches an easy tai chi movement class once a month.

Hopefully this new exercise program will keep our residents on their feet longer and keep them happy and healthy!

Would you like to volunteer to lead a fitness class or other activity to help seniors “Get into the Act”? Click the button below to get involved.

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Topics: intergenerational housing, fall prevention