Exercise Programs Offset Age-Related Disabilities

Much Needed Inpatient and Outpatient Fitness Programs Available in Toronto

Kathleen Jaques Bennett, BSc, BSc, MSc

Seniors, especially those over 75 years of age, are far more likely to be hospitalized for their illnesses and injuries and stay longer in the hospital than their younger counterparts.1 Canadian seniors are also less likely to engage in regular exercise despite its benefits in preventing or relieving a variety of illnesses.2,3 Inpatient and outpatient fitness programs for the elderly play an important role in health maintenance, pain reduction and rehabilitation after illness and injury.

Programs available
The availability of geriatric fitness programs may vary considerably with the size of the community. In the Toronto area, a number of geriatric fitness programs are available through Sunnybrook and Baycrest Hospitals, and outpatient programs for seniors with osteoporosis are also available through clinics such the Pro Program at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.4 In smaller communities, exercise programs are not always designed specifically for geriatric rehabilitation and fitness; nor is every program offered at every hospital in an area. Some less popu-lated areas have adopted the approach of assigning specialized programs to different hospitals within the region.

There are many types of exercise programs which are aimed at prevention, rehabilitation or maintenance.