Hi all, Bev McCallum here! I recently finished teaching a Fitness for Older Adults course to a bunch of very passionate gals in Dawson Creek. I typically spend the day after teaching a course resting and reflecting, but today I find myself thinking about the dimensions of wellness of the older adults and what that really means.
Let’s review the dimensions of wellness - we know them as physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual. As I was reviewing them in class we were talking about the importance of each one when it comes to reaching, supporting, and instructing our older adults. As the class discussed this it occurred to me this could be a class or course in itself - each one of these dimensions are so vitally important to our older adults.
A new dimension has been added in with a couple of changed characteristics. When referring to working with older adults we know the dimensions of wellness as being physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and now they’ve added vocational.
These are pretty easy to wrap our brain around - so we think - but really, when we look at the social dimension do we encourage these older adults to have respect for themselves and for others? Are we protecting the one in the class that other attendees could tend to bully? Do we positively affirm them? Do we help them to establish healthy relationships with others?
When we’re working with our older adults do we help them to engage in creative learning, to be encouraging them to find new interests and new hobbies?
Do actually see how lonely they are? Are we active in helping them to solve their problems or help them to establish positive self-esteem, personal expectations, or even their goals?
Do the older adults that we work with today have a purpose or meaning for their life?
Then that brings me to the last one the newly added “Vocational”. Do they engage in life fully? Do they have hobbies? Do they do recreational Participation? Are we encouraging them to get new interests?
I sit here pondering, reflecting, and almost challenging myself with each lesson plan. With each Older Adult course on my schedule, with each encounter, with each exercise session that I put together for the older adult, am I touching on all six of these dimensions for them? Because, really, do they deserve any less?
As an instructor for fitness certification, I want to train fitness instructors to give older adults the best support and advice possible. If you’re going to be working with older adults as a fitness instructor or trainer, check out any upcoming certification classes for Fitness for Older Adults. If you want to learn more about me or about the courses I offer, check them out here on my site or contact me directly!