Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Bold Moves – an inclusive class for residents with Parkinson’s

“What keeps NIFS from inviting folks with varying neurological conditions into our Bold Moves for Parkinson’s class since it is also a neurological disease??

BM photoThis is a great question because it is a priority for our clients (and for us) to make sure programs and services are as inclusive as possible. But in this situation, Bold Moves is specifically designed for those who have Parkinson’s Disease and here are a few considerations on why that is the case!

Did You Know...

  • ...Parkinson’s Disease is progressive and without a cure?
  • ...medications and surgical procedures are only to help minimize symptoms?
  • ...those same medications start to wear off and do not help as much as they did at the start of use?
  • ...exercise is prescribed just as much if not more than medication for symptom management?

NIFS Bold Moves group fitness class is exclusively available to residents with Parkinson’s because the training modalities they need to manage symptoms are unique. We followed the science to make sure we were bringing our clients and their residents an evidence-based program for their fitness center and while exercise is GREAT for anyone, that doesn’t mean ALL exercises are meant for everyone. Some training modalities that benefit those with Parkinson’s in Bold Moves may be contraindicated for individuals with other neurological conditions.

Our goal with Bold Moves is to provide a safe space that encourages the types of exercise that will assist those with Parkinson’s to ease symptoms of the disease. For example, large, big, (dare we say, bold 😉,) movements are encouraged for range of motion and fighting rigidity, but did you know we should not encourage cross over steps for these participants? Another example of a warmup we might include is for facial muscles due to the symptoms that limit muscle movement in the face which can lead to further problems with swallowing and talking. Yes, we will include fitness staples like cardiovascular exercise, full body strength, and flexibility exercises, but they will each be nuanced for the symptoms individuals experience with Parkinson’s. Furthermore, if a group setting isn’t enjoyable for a resident, they can receive an individualized Bold Moves fitness program utilizing the equipment in the fitness center or the pool!

While these exercise considerations are clear in the Bold Moves training NIFS team members receive, how they format their classes remains unique for their participants. We don’t take a cookie cutter approach across our communities in how we format a fitness class, plan an exercise challenge, or promote the next big splash in aquatics programming and Bold Moves is no exception. Our skilled staff learn from their residents at each community and create a program that meets participants where they are with Bold Moves classes looking different at every client site NIFS serves. We love seeing how our team applies their Bold Moves training to give the program its own unique flavor at every community!

Recently, NIFS interviewed several members at varying client locations to get their feedback on why they participate in this program and if it has helped them. The answer is a resounding yes! They are feeling the difference in how their body moves and feels after their sessions. They are paying attention more to the cues NIFS fitness staff provide them during class and remind themselves when they are out in the community. Most importantly, they are thankful someone has the understanding that they cannot control these movement symptoms and they have confidence that they are performing the best exercises unique to their needs as part of their symptom management.

Learn more about our program for residents with Parkinson's Disease by clicking below.

NIFS Bold Moves Program for Parkinson's

 

Topics: senior living wellness programs activities calendar senior living disease management Parkinson's Disease Bold Moves

How NIFS Became Experts in Parkinson’s Fitness Programming

Exercise continues to be one of the best tools to slow the progression and combat symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and the need for senior living communities to have dedicated exercise programs for residents with Parkinson’s is increasing. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed annually and 96% of those diagnosed are over the age of 50 leaving seniors looking for best-in-class amenities and services including fitness professionals who understand their condition and can help them safely maximize the benefits of exercise.

Executive directors and marketing directors in the senior living communities NIFS serves were asking us for a marketable program they could offer in their fitness centers to support both current and prospective residents with a Parkinson’s diagnosis. NIFS culminated our years of experience developing expert health and fitness programming, supporting residents with Parkinson’s, and immersing ourselves in the science and research to develop Bold Moves™ a Parkinson’s Program by NIFS.

While NIFS had the resources to develop such a program, it was no easy feat and as usual we relied on our expert staff to help us learn what works, what doesn’t, and what resources and education we needed to enhance our department. Our staffs’ passion and commitment to finding exercise solutions to support the needs of their residents is boundless and supporting those with Parkinson’s is no exception as they helped us develop Bold Moves to incorporate:

BM Offerings_graphic icons-1We were able to learn from the experiences of team members across the US and industry experts in the field of exercise and Parkinson’s to create a truly unique program for our residents. Best of all, it’s making an impact with how much residents are engaging in exercise generating a 96% increase in group fitness visits by participants and 92% of them rating Bold Moves as good to outstanding. These statistics are from residents already residing at these communities which indicates a dedicated Parkinson’s program supports these residents in moving more!

Today, NIFS team members complete a comprehensive 8-week training including a specialty certification in Parkinson’s & Exercise to effectively launch Bold Moves for our clients. We collaborate with community personnel to incorporate an interdisciplinary team approach to bridge resources and care where needed. Residents with PD have confidence in the credentials of their fitness staff and a program uniquely designed to meet them wherever they are in their fitness journey. In turn, NIFS senior living clients have a marketable service that helps them create distinction in their marketplace with 100% of participants rating Bold Moves as a great feature of a great community!

Here are a few questions to evaluate on how your community could take steps to support residents with Parkinson’s:

  • What are the credentials of my fitness staff to deliver effective and safe Parkinson’s fitness programs?
  • Do we have a class on the group fitness schedule that provides the training modalities, equipment and safety factors to support residents with Parkinson’s in a class setting?
  • For those who don’t like group exercise, how can we provide exercise options for them in the fitness center or pool that can help them manage symptoms?
  • What pathways to bridge resources are established with other disciplines in your community like physical, occupational or speech therapy, dietitians, or healthcare navigators?

    NIFS Bold Moves Program for Parkinson's
Topics: senior living wellness programs disease management Parkinson's Disease Bold Moves

Living Your Best Life While Living with COPD

NIFS | Lung healthCOPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a disease that makes it hard to breathe and, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), gets worse over time. COPD is also known as Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema, a progressive disease that produces large amounts of mucus and causes shortness of breath. The disease is most commonly caused by cigarette smoking. However, according to the NHLBI, up to 25% of those with COPD never smoked. They also say that long term exposure to other lung irritants like air pollution, dusts, and chemical fumes may contribute to the severity of COPD.  Although it is progressive and undoubtedly affects one’s quality of life, there are effective ways to prevent or manage this disease. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, preventing COPD is simple, “The majority of cases are directly related to cigarette smoking, and the best way to prevent COPD is to never smoke or to stop smoking now.” Tobacco cessation is notoriously difficult, and the Mayo Clinic recommends a structured tobacco cessation program for best results. Furthermore, those individuals exposed to chemicals at work should discuss any health and safety concerns with their supervisors. 

Beyond this clear path of prevention lies a not-so-clear area, disease management and living an active lifestyle with COPD. For many patients, Pulmonary Rehabilitation is an important aspect of the treatment plan. This rehabilitation describes a program that can assist the patient with techniques to help them breathe easier, and exercise regiment, education about the condition and counseling. Exercise is a key element of this rehabilitation and management process. Some of the benefits of exercise for those with COPD are; improved circulation, increased energy levels, and more efficient oxygen consumption. Given the nature of COPD as a pulmonary disease, the most impactful form of exercise is aerobic. With that said, stretching and strength training are also important for a healthy, balanced kinetic system. Breathing patterns are important for all individuals, but they are vital for COPD patients.

Before starting an exercise program, individuals should consult with their primary healthcare provider. For individuals with COPD, a deeper conversation may be required. Patients should consider how often they should exercise, how long they should exercise, and what types of exercise they should perform. Patients should also review the timing of their medications with their physician before starting their exercise sessions. Through exercise, a better quality of life is possible for individuals living with COPD and that’s a breath of fresh air!

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Topics: exercise program COPD smoking cessation lung health disease management