When exercise is a suggested activity for people to attend in aged care I find residents usually comment “I’m too old for that” or” I can’t do that” but if you come up with a catchy name for the group you could be on to a winner activity.
One of the most popular activities I have witnessed in my facility at the time was a group run by an Activity Assistant called Toni. The activity was named “Tone up with Toni”. It was held in the activity room and everyone was seated on chairs around Toni in a large circle, easily over 40 residents would turn up to join in so it was a very large circle.
Here are some suggestions on how to run a successful Keep Fit Group.
- Start by creating a large space to run the activity with chairs placed around in a circle and spaces for people in wheelchairs to also be placed around the circle.
- The activity facilitator should be seated in a chair in the center of the circle. If it is a very large group have another assistant or volunteer seated around the circle so residents can watch them as well so they can follow the moves.
- Have a great list of music playing at the activity, start with the lighter music and add more upbeat songs as the exercise session goes on. This really gets everyone in the mood & sets the pace for the exercises.
- Start with slower music to do stretching at the beginning of the activity (warm-up) then have music that has a great beat suggestion: Boot scooting music is great, Rolling on the River, Older upbeat songs.
Also, end with slower music to end the group to cool down.
- Come up with a catchy name for your group like Tone up with Toni, Shake it with Sharon, Boogie with Barbara, Stretching with Stella.
- Provide refreshments at the end of the group to keep everyone hydrated.