Elderfit program celebrates 25 years


  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>The 2023 board of directors for Elderfit are shown here beginning in front, from left to right, Lynne Barkhouse, Marilyn Branson, Sue Rushton and Nancy MacDonald. Standing are, Lynne McDormand, Susan Swallow, Doreen Fines, Rosalie Studley, Dean White and Sue Nichols</p>

SOUTH SHORE - The brainchild of Dr. George McKiel, Elderfit - Lunenburg was initiated in 1998 with grants from two partners, Veterans Affairs Canada and the Lunenburg County Community Health Board.

Today, 25 years later, Elderfit provides regular aquacize classes to about 150 members, mostly seniors, from across Lunenburg County and beyond.

In order to keep costs for members to a minimum, the classes are led by Elderfit-trained volunteer instructors, who all began as participants. Special emphasis is placed on exercises for seniors, including a focus on arthritis, balance, and mobility.

The classes are beneficial for anyone who can gain from the therapy offered by water exercise, including expectant mothers and those recovering from accidents, surgeries, etc. Our program accommodates people from all age groups.

Jeanne Fay of Martins Point has been a member since 2004. The 76-year-old said the program has been a lifesaver.

"My son had died in a car accident and the Elderfit program was kind of my last resort and I can tell you it increased my quality of life," she said. "Going to Elderfit to me out of the house and into the pool when I desperately needed something."

She tries to get out three days a week to both the Oak Island Inn and the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre when she can.

"The physical work is so good, but it's also for the socialization," she said. "We have a lot of fun. We caught and talk. It's wonderful."

Fay also adds that it's very good for those with limited mobility. She has had a double hip replacement herself.

"When you go you can see all the walkers and canes left on the edge of the pool. At the LCLC, there's a wonderful ramp that goes down and it is so easy to get in. That ramp is absolutely wonderful," she said.

Currently, Elderfit offers eight scheduled classes at two pools: every weekday at the LCLC in Bridgewater and Monday, Wednesday, Friday at Oak Island Resort in Western Shore. Members purchase a pool pass, which covers 10 classes and never expires; it can be used to join any Elderfit class at either pool.

Elderfit is now managed by an active board of directors who work hard to move our program forward through the coming years.

In celebration of our 25th anniversary, the board is honouring legacy members - those members who have volunteered many hours to improve and support our program. The first three members will be presented at our spring luncheon and others will be added as time goes on.

New members of all ages are always welcome at any Elderfit class. In fact, your first class is free. For more information on Elderfit, please call 902 527-1887, check out our website at elderfitlunenburg.ca or on Facebook - Elderfit Aquacize.

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