Adults 55+ Living Healthier Lives
Heartland Forest’s commitment to the disability community and our aging population is unique to any other program in the province. There has been increased attention given to the importance of understanding health issues and developing healthy living strategies for older adults, especially as people are more likely to have disabilities as they get older. Heartland Forest is requesting funding to develop an Older Adults Pilot Program entitled: ‘Adults 55+ Living Healthier Lives thru Accessible Nature-Based Sports, Fitness and Wellness’. The program will serve as a model for outdoor nature environments with the end goal being the desire to create in all adults – regardless of ability – a lifelong enjoyment of sport and physical activity (Stage 7 – Active for Life: PSO/MSO CS4L developmental model).
The pilot program will include the formation of a Community of Practice to (1) build relationships and networks; (2) increase knowledge through inter-professional knowledge exchange; (3) enable peer feedback and sharing of knowledge and resources.
Activities will include SPORTS – both recreational and structured; FITNESS emphasizing both physical activity (recreational gardening, birding, hiking and walking) and exercise (planned, structured and repetitive activities at Fitness Stations positioned throughout the forest trails - adapted to ability), and WELLNESS that incorporates a holistic perspective that integrates four dimensions of wellness (Physical Activity, Healthy Eating, Mental Health, Beliefs & Attitudes).
Heartland Forest’s 'Adults 55+ Living Healthier Lives’ pilot program will develop an accessible, nature-based sports, fitness and wellness model that will include 120 workshop participants – 50% with an identified disability, 1000 fitness and sport participants and the establishment of a Community of Practice involving 15 Niagara Region groups/professionals.
The proposed project meets multiple OSRCF objectives including:
Demonstrated alignment with Stage Seven (Active for Life) of the LTAD Continuum.
Encouraging an inactive population to become active.
Removing barriers and improving access to opportunities for targeted populations.
Sharing best practices through strong networks.