New checklist helps older adults selects age-friendly fitness facilities
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VANCOUVER--Although mature adults are joining health and wellness facilities faster than any other age group today, many facilities are not prepared or equipped to serve older members. The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), the world's largest senior fitness association, has created a checklist to help mature adults rate and compare their local fitness facilities and choose one that meets their needs. Facility owners and managers can use the ICAA test to evaluate their facilities and take steps to become more age-friendly.
A sample of the ICAA checklist questions appears below. To download the complete checklist, visit the ICAA website at http://www.icaa.cc/checklist.htm
How to select an age-friendly fitness facility Copyright ©2005 by the International Council on Active Aging
1. Is the facility's atmosphere one you feel comfortable in?
2. Are the locker rooms clean, accessible and monitored by staff?
3. Are the membership contracts and marketing materials available in large print?
4. Are signs visible and easy to understand?
5. Is the music acceptable and set at a reasonable level?
6. Does the facility's cardiovascular equipment have the following age-friendly features? A display panel that is easy to read, easy to change and easy to understand
7. Do the facility's treadmills start slowly, 0.5 mph?
8. Do the recumbent bikes or steppers have a wide and comfortable seat with armrest?
9. Does the facility's strength building equipment have instructional placards that have simple diagrams, easy to read text and font, and correct usage information?
10. Does the facility's strength building equipment have a low starting resistance, less than five pounds?
11. Does the facility offer programs designed to meet the needs of those with a variety of chronic conditions? i.e. osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, balance abnormalities, muscular weakness
12. Do the classes have different levels of intensity, duration and size?
13. Is there an extensive screening and assessment process? i.e. balance, functional abilities, osteoporosis
14. Does the facility offer an orientation class or session to help you become familiar with your surroundings?
15. Is the staff knowledge about the impact that medication can have on exercise
About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA is the world’s largest membership association dedicated to changing the way we age by uniting professionals in the retirement, assisted living, recreation, fitness, rehabilitation and wellness fields. The council supports these professionals with education, information, resources and tools, so they can achieve optimal success with the growing population of people who are 50 years and older. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.
For interviews or more information about ICAA or aging-related issues, contact:
Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America only)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595