Removing common activity barriers

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    By Cheryl Wilkinson
    PREVIEW Columnist

    Famously, Jane Brody provides some pithy advice that we all understand but find it hard to put into practice: “The secret to successful aging is to recognize one’s issues and adapt accordingly.” 

    Physical activity is well-known for improving our quality of life on so many levels. So, let’s consider what stops us from getting the level of activity that will help keep us physically fit and mentally sharp.

    A new paper from the Mather Institute gives some insight into why the “majority of older adults — many of whom understand the importance of physical activity for their ongoing health and independence — do not participate in regular activity.” 

    A few items from the report might help to spark ideas for your setting:

    • Outreach materials work as the primary motivator for adults 60 and better. If you run a fitness program that works with this audience, consider how your outreach is working. During the pandemic, with most everything shut down, have you been able to make accommodations and keep your participants active?

    • Fear of injury and mobility limitations are valid concerns when individuals do not know how to exercise safely and effectively. Options include “exercising indoors when the weather is poor, resistance training, knowledge of malnutrition, intellectual training and other health-related topics.”

    • A significant motivator can be reframing exercise as a facilitator for improved function due to the benefits that exercise brings for managing pain or chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, extended recovery time and overall poor health.

    Whatever activity you choose, it needs to be interesting and fun for the participants. As we work toward getting our own in-person health and education programs back open, you can find low-impact, online options for in-home exercise on our website through our alliance with Mather.

    Our site also provides a wide variety of resources on aging, active engagement, provider and caregiver education, and information about ASI programs in Archuleta County, as well as contact information for making reservations at The Community Café for take-out and for Meals on Wheels at: http://www.psseniors.org/. 

    Take-out meals continue at Senior Center

    In order to continue providing meals, the Senior Center is offering take-out hot meals and a salad with a drive-up option under the portico at the Ross Aragon Community Center. 

    These meals will be available Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There is a $4 suggested donation for lunch for those age 60 and better. If you need to have your meal delivered, please call (970) 264-2167 to see if this option is available in your area. 

    The cost per meal for the public age 59 and under is $8.50. The meals include a salad, hot meal, drink and dessert or bread. 

    Please call (970) 264-2167 to make a reservation for pickup. We are also continuing our Meals on Wheels program. 

    Community Café menu

    Thursday, Sept. 23 — Chicken crepes, green peas, milk, salad and chocolate cake.

    Friday, Sept. 24 — Pork posole, baked rice, milk, fruit salad, flan and mixed nuts.

    Monday, Sept. 27 — Beef stroganoff, green beans, milk, salad and cherry crisp.

    Tuesday, Sept. 28 — Vegetarian Moroccan stew, roasted cauliflower, naan bread, milk and salad.

    Wednesday, Sept. 29 — Roasted chicken with Herbes de Provence, caramelized butternut squash, milk, salad and cranberry fluff.

    Thursday, Sept. 30 — Pork sausage with red beans and rice, collard greens, cornbread with butter, milk and salad.

    For your convenience, you can make your reservations in advance or have a standing reservation on days you know you will always pick up. 

    Due to COVID-19, food supplies have been affected. Substitutions will be made accordingly.