May is Older Americans Month and this year’s theme, “Connect, Create, Contribute,” encourages older adults and their communities to:
- Connect with friends, family and services that support participation.
- Create, by engaging in activities that promote learning, health and personal enrichment.
- Contribute time, talent and life experience to benefit others.
This is what Inspira LIFE, a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly, headquartered in Vineland is all about. Recognizing that many seniors struggle with the ability to exercise, and have trouble accessing the necessary equipment and expert assistance, LIFE has joined forces with Inspira’s Fitness Connection, a certified medical fitness facility, to offer seniors private exercise sessions through the Physician Referred Exercise Program.
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The PREP is a 90-day program that incorporates physician recommendations with the expertise of a medical exercise specialist. LIFE participants attend the Fitness Connection three days a week, with transportation provided by LIFE, and have their vitals and measurements carefully monitored.
“So far we have had about 20 Inspira LIFE seniors through the program. Once they graduate the 90-day program, Inspira LIFE picks up the tab for the seniors to convert their PREP enrollment into a traditional gym membership, which encourages them to continue exercising. We have seen tremendous success with the LIFE participants; they have lost weight, improved their body mass index (BMI), increased their hydration levels, and decreased their blood pressure,” said Maria Goeller, PREP program coordinator.
The seniors ride stationary bikes, lift weights, do circuit training, and walk on treadmills and an indoor track. While they each have individual goals to reach, they also share common goals – to improve their overall well-being, prevent common senior injuries, and maintain a positive outlook and independence through preventative care and socialization.
Ankur Patel MD, medical director for the Inspira LIFE program, explains, “We have seen great benefits to this partnership for our participants, medically, socially and spiritually. They have increased energy levels and an overall improved quality of life.”
Karen Barry, a LIFE participant currently enrolled in the PREP program loves the results she has seen so far. “I am so thankful and glad that I have been referred to the PREP program. This gym is by far the best gym I’ve ever been to,” said Barry. “The trainers are knowledgeable, friendly, courteous and they keep the workout interesting while giving me confidence and strength.”
Inspira LIFE is a national program of all-inclusive care for the elderly. This comprehensive health plan offers an integrated and proactive approach for providing health care needs for seniors, age 55 and older who are clinically eligible. The program’s goal is to keep seniors living independently and safely in their homes and community. The program combines center-based care with home care, and offers primary care, specialty care, physical and occupational therapy, recreation therapy, transportation, nutritional counseling, social services, durable medical equipment, transportation, and medications. The center is at 2445 S. Delsea Drive in Vineland.
For information, call (855) 295-5433 or visit www.InspiraHealthNetwork.org/Life-Center.