The Seniors LINCS Walk N’ Roll Program is a collaborative effort led by the Seniors LINCS program in the Annapolis Valley in partnership with multiple municipal recreation departments and fitness facilities. Walk N’ Roll provides opportunities for frail seniors to exercise safely using 4 wheel walkers while ambulating at a moderate intensities in a local indoor setting. Programs are offered in 6 locations and supervised by a Seniors LINCS Physiotherapist in conjunction with community Senior Fitness Leaders. In 2016-2017 this program was offered weekly in Wolfville, Kentville, Berwick, Kingston, Middleton and Cornwallis. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that seniors ages 65 + take part in 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous intensity exercise weekly. If one has painful arthritic joints, cardiorespiratory disease or past strokes, it is very difficult to move fast enough to reap the benefits of brisk walking. Besides pain, shortness of breath and muscle stiffness there are many barriers that prevent endurance walking – especially in the winter months. The use of a 4 wheeled walker enables those with complex medical conditions to walk safely, at moderate intensity, which helps them to realize Canadian Exercise Physiology guidelines. Participants meet weekly and are supplied with 4 wheel walkers. Objective measures (distance, gait speed etc) are collected and shared with participants. They are instructed about the safe and proper use of assistive devices, and the benefits of reducing falls injuries. Additionally, group work reduces social isolation and the supportive setting created helps to eliminate the stigma associated with walker use. Clients are educated both individually and in groups regarding falls risk reduction and improved functional independence at home.
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