St. Joseph's Villa / S.I.M. Gym (Seniors in Motion)
Created September 26, 2011 by Maureen Ellis & Jenny Fairburn
Our aging population is growing at an alarming rate. This is much more than a “gym” as you know it. Our seniors benefit from an environment that supports them socially and emotionally. This is a place where they don’t feel judged, pressured or seen lacking but learn that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself!
Chronic health problems like high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease are slowly eroding the potential for seniors to live a more healthy and active life to their fullest potential.
So what are we doing about it – SIM Gym. The more important question is - what are you doing about it?
**By supporting this program, AVIVA will help us to:**
- Improve the health and well-being of seniors.
- Reduce the impact of age-related injuries and health problems such as high blood pressure.
- Reduce emergency department visits related to falls
- Reduce subsequent hospital admissions. (Of all the fall-related injuries, 85% require hospitalization and 58% of those falls contributed to their death.)
- Support seniors to age actively.
The impact of this program extends far beyond our Long Term Care Facility.
Programs such as our balance class, stability training, boot camp, yoga, have significantly reduced fall-related incidents in our participants. We are saving the health care system money and preventing premature institutionalization.
St. Joseph’s Villa is a community of services that supports the health and wellness of seniors. The SIM Gym is a fitness program which supports active aging and reduces the impact of age-related injuries and health problems. We can’t stop the aging process but we can reduce the impact on our health system. We can build a healthier community – “a better tomorrow today” for seniors.
**Empowering Seniors and Engaging Youth**
We believe that seniors should not be forgotten. They need not be “the burden” that society paints them to be. They deserve better and, with our help, they can take charge of their own lives. This is much more than a “gym”. It is an environment that supports them socially and emotionally, a place where they don’t feel judged, pressured or seen lacking but learn that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself.
In partnership with our local high school and colleges and universities, we are engaging youth through clinical and cooperative education placements working with seniors to build relationships and understanding.
Our motto: "If you don’t use it, you lose it – but you can always get it back!" Chronic health problems like high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease are slowing eroding the potential for seniors to live a more healthy and active life. Our SIM Gym participants have experienced an increase in their strength, mobility, agility, balance and energy as well as loss of excess weight as well as reduction and elimination of medications. No matter how much we may wish it, we cannot stop the aging process. We can choose “how we age”!
So what does all of this mean? The SIM Gym program is designed to meet one of the Provincial Government’s key strategies for “Aging at Home”. What this means is: reduced incidents of falls leading to a reduction in emergency room visits, hospital admissions and negative outcomes; delays in premature placement to long term care facilities; and, overall, a healthier senior population. The Aviva Fund has already made dreams come true for many youth oriented projects. Choosing this project is like taking out an insurance policy. Now is the time to invest in your own future!
The SIM Gym is only limited by bricks and mortar. We have the design plans to increase our space by 75% to accommodate a growing wait list for the program. Our clients are our best advertisement. The increased space will give us the potential to add new programs, expand hours of operation, and increase our membership.
**Likelihood of Success Longevity & Sustainability**
St. Joseph’s Villa has an outstanding reputation that dates back to 1879 for providing innovative programs and services to people in our community with a special emphasis on the poor, the marginalized and seniors. We have the resources already in place – administration, professional staff, referral sources, industry support, and accessibility.
**There is only one question left: What if, one day……….it might be you!**