Fitness for Seniors. Workout 24-7, the gym on Parkway Road, is a very senior-friendly facility, and you will often find seniors on a machine (1 rowing machine, 3 treadmills, 3 ellipticals, and 3 bikes). You may purchase the services of a personal trainer. In addition to the machine room and power training room, they have recently expanded to allow for a new stretch and toning room (a good room for working with a trainer). Senior prices are very reasonable: $10 a month, $25 for 3 months, $100 for a year. FMI: 824-4766, http://workout24-7bethelmaine.com.
Another exercise option: in a collaboration between the Age-Friendly Community Initiative and the Recreation Board, Gould Academy has offered the use of the Bingham Gymnasium to area residents over 50. Responses to the following questions will help them in their planning. Please contact either of the following with your thoughts – and let your friends know of this opportunity: Recreation Director, Sarah Tucker (824-2669, firstname.lastname@example.org) OR Jackie Cressy (824-0508,email@example.com).
1. What activities would you be interested in? pickleball – basketball - Qi Gong exercises - a place to walk briskly when the streets and sidewalks are icy - other.
2. What time of day would you be most likely to use the gymnasium? morning – afternoon - early evening.
3. Would you be interested in leading / coordinating an activity? (The Recreation Director would handle registrations, but we would need someone to be responsible for opening and closing the gym for any particular activity.)
Seniors and Medications. “With age comes experience, wisdom . . . and a lot of medication.” A recent Consumer Reports article cites a Best Buy Drugs national telephone poll finding that “three-quarters of Americans 65 and older currently take an average of six prescription drugs and that despite having insurance coverage such as Medicare … one-third of people 65 and older experienced cost hikes in the previous 12 months and paid an average of $53 more for at least one of their drugs.” Says Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center: “Even with Medicare, many people wind up paying substantial out-of-pocket costs … We hear stories about people mortgaging their house just to afford their medications.” For the full article and information on getting a pharmacy discount with Medicare, go tohttp://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/medicare-patients-struggle-with-prescription-prices.Daily check-ins. An AFCI task force has begun researching potential models for a system of checking in with participating seniors on a daily basis. They welcome ideas from community members. If you have thoughts, you may contact Kay Larson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 824-3333) or Brooks Morton (email@example.com, 381-5991).
Volunteer Drivers Needed. The AFCI is planning to offer a volunteer driver transportation service to seniors, the isolated and the disabled of the region. Service is anticipated to begin in October, and opportunities abound for volunteers to meet this need in our communities. Being a driver can be easy, fun and rewarding! A number of individuals have already indicated their desire to be volunteer drivers, but more are needed to meet the needs of the region. FMI: Allen Cressy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 824-0508).
Seniors and Sleep. A recent AARP magazine feature article on the importance of sleep notes that “Americans get an hour or two less shut-eye every night than we once did” and that “Older adults are more vulnerable to sleep disorders, particularly obstructive sleep apnea, an intermittent breathing problem that causes serious health issues” like stress on the heart. Some causes of sleep difficulty relate to how we treat our bodies – ie. obesity, medications, and just plain advancing age. But lifestyle and environmental factors also come into play – excessive time in front of electronic screens (smartphones, TV and the like) and the high-intensity light that they emit, for instance. Often people don’t realize they are suffering from poor sleep, and more and more older adults are consulting sleep specialists and undergoing sophisticated sleep tests to determine whether they would benefit from aids like a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), which are covered by Medicare. FMI on any of the above: Nancy Davis (email@example.com, 381-1110).