Many studies have shown that physical activity is critically important for maintaining health during aging, but gym membership may be intimidating for some seniors.
With Niagara’s aging population, the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well
Being, located on Lockhart Drive in St. Catharines, plays a key role in helping those over 55 to stay healthy, active, and independent, and may contribute to reduced health care costs.
On Monday, The Honorable Mario Sergio, Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs, as well as St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, toured the Brock University facility, which houses a number of exercise programs for Niagara seniors.
The team at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being pursues innovative, multi-disciplinary research and provides community programs to improve health and quality-of-life for seniors including those with cardiac issues, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and amputees.
“Our government’s Action Plan for Seniors is our promise to help ensure older adults live fulfilling, independent, active and healthy lives for as long as possible. This is why I’m proud of organizations like the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being that not only shares our government’s goal, but also works tirelessly alongside us to help seniors live their best lives as they age,” said Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs.
Niagara has one of the country’s highest percentage of seniors at 19.2 per cent and it’s estimated seniors will account for 60 per cent of Niagara’s population growth over the next 15 years. The older demographic has also contributed to Niagara’s high prevalence of heart disease.
“The Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being is a good example of the University’s commitment to the Niagara community,” said President Jack Lightstone. “We’re proud to have a facility that encourages healthy aging where seniors can exercise with the support of the dedicated students, faculty and staff at the Centre, while at the same time conducting leading edge research.”
“Once again, we observe yet another positive interaction that involves Brock University and the community, with residents of Niagara benefiting from the outreach of Brock staff,” added St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley.
With around 300 members, the Centre is an affordable place for older adults to exercise surrounded by their peers, while being assisted by Centre staff and Brock students.