DECATUR — Liz Bartimus and Sue Burke are active senior citizens, but understand they can always learn more about their health.
“It’s always nice to get more information about things we can do to make our lives better, to stay fit and healthy,” Bartimus said.
The Decatur Park District hosted the National Senior Health and Fitness Day on Wednesday morning at the Overlook Adventure Park in Nelson Park. Along with vendors, the event offered activities such as workout demos, miniature golf, massages and the ropes course.
“I was hoping the pool would be open, but because of the weather, probably not,” Burke said.
Melissa Rinchiuso, Decatur Indoor Sports Center membership coordinator, was one of five vendors providing information during the event. “We have classes just geared for seniors for the summer and all year,” she said.
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The DISC partners with Silver Sneakers and Renew Active. “If you have that as part of your insurance, it gives you a full facility membership with us,” Rinchiuso said.
In the past, Decatur’s National Senior Health and Fitness Day was held at the DISC. Overlook was an ideal move for the event, according to Rinchiuso. “This way they can play mini golf, they can see the pool,” she said. “It’s a little more diverse.”
Jeff Rounds, DISC fitness center supervisor, organized the local event. “This is a national event occurring all across the country on this day where people have various events, whether it’s a fitness class or a health fair,” he said. “We’re trying to promote fitness and fun for seniors.”
Along with physical wellbeing, the event focused on a healthy mental state, according to Rounds. “As we age, sometimes it triggers your brain in a different manner than you’re used to,” he said.
The move to Overlook Adventure Park provided a few of the extra opportunities not available in other locations. “We can offer miniature golf,” Rounds said. “There’s dexterity with putting and the challenge in how to do it mentally.”
Other services were offered during the event to assist seniors with mobility.
Bob Jelks has been a massage therapist working with seniors for decades. “I’ve got a lot of seniors, some in their 90s,” he said. “Some have been with me for 25 years.”
According to Jelks, a massage is meant to relax a person and help him or her sleep better. “You function better,” he said. “It will help you.”
Abbey Britton, hospice volunteer coordinator for Decatur, was available to discuss volunteer opportunities for the agency. “We’re really just looking for people who can be a companion for people that are in the hospice program to give their caregivers a break,” she said.
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According to Britton, seniors are a good fit for the volunteer service. Most seniors are retired and able to volunteer at various times.
“They’ve had life circumstances where they’ve known about hospice,” she said. “They understand the life stages a little bit more.”
Bartimus, 63, recently built a relationship with a hospice agency in Georgia where her mother recently passed away. “Hospice has always had such a bad name, with the end of life. Now it’s quality of life,” she said. “It’s so important. It’s such a help.”
Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR