In parts I and II of this blog series, I discussed why it’s important to cultivate a robust health and fitness program for residents in AL and memory-care environments and how to tap into your existing personnel to make that happen. Perhaps this has already sparked some conversations and goal setting for your community in 2017. If you haven’t done so, consider sharing this blog series with your marketing and sales team. Get their insights on the value of expanded fitness programming for residents living in AL and memory care. Or, consider surveying your new residents with pointed questions on their health and fitness goals. Use all of that feedback to figure out whether you have the existing tools and resources in place to support their goals.
In this final blog of the series, I’m going to cover a few additional resources for enhancing your fitness program.
- Consider how you can have a more inclusive environment in your IL fitness amenities: Can you establish criteria or resident support tools to invite AL or memory-care residents to use the existing exercise equipment in the fitness center or partake in group exercise classes with IL residents?
- Develop a fitness space: Whether it is sectioning off a small corner of an existing activity or lounge space or building out an entire room for fitness equipment, having a dedicated fitness space or studio can be a great option for residents of all ability levels.
- Dedicate a variety of exercise equipment options: It’s time to put down the pool noodles and the beach balls. There are a number of small fitness equipment pieces on the market that can create new challenges and variety in group exercise classes.
- Consider qualified staff: The demand for quality fitness offerings for older adults has steadily increased in the past decade and therefore there are more and more qualified fitness staff on the market who have experience catering to the unique needs of older adults. Working with a staffing partner like NIFS or hiring your own fitness professional to support your residents’ health and fitness needs even in a part-time capacity can be a significant enhancement to your program.
Through the course of this blog series, I’ve highlighted a variety of opportunities to enhance your fitness offerings for AL and memory-care residents. While having qualified, fitness staff can be a difference maker, there is quite a bit that existing Activities staff can do to improve exercise offerings. With that being said, you already have a full plate of responsibilities to serve your residents and pausing to develop a strategy for doing fitness better might be a challenge. If you’re ready to improve your fitness program for residents in assisted living and memory care environments, register for our workshop and let us help you.
At NIFS Workshop on March 7, we will discuss key qualifications to look for in vetting qualified fitness professionals as well as discussing specific equipment recommendations you could consider for your community. We will also break down how to implement the highlighted opportunities I’ve discussed in this blog series in a phased and step by step approach. This will provide clear action steps for communities to implement new opportunities at whatever pace is comfortable for them now and in the future. Please visit here for more information about the specific learning objectives about the workshop and how to register!