The Great Age Movement is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2016. Our goal is to build senior playgrounds in green spaces throughout the City of Houston and surrounding areas. We plan to provide volunteer service programs that promote health, learning, and socialization. Once established, we plan to add other outdoor activities including yoga, dance, stretching, and educational classes focused on mental and spiritual wellness at our senior playground sites.
Our current capital campaign is to raise funds for our first senior playground installation in the Texas Medical Center and our new senior art & exercise program at The Health Museum in the Museum District.
Great Age Movement Organization came about after 18 years of professional service in geriatric physical rehabilitation. As a seasoned clinician serving as a geriatric rehabilitation specialist, with a focus on occupational performance, and a business owner of professional therapy staffing services in post-acute and home health settings, I developed an understanding of what seniors need beyond their rehabilitation after a catastrophic event.
Senior community programs remain far and few in our society. Over the years, my clients often ask what kind of activities are available to them as seniors in the community. I've encouraged many seniors to join organized exercise and activity classes at local community centers. However, common obstacles for many seniors include the lack of available activities and transportation to the activities. Many seniors drive short distances or not at all for medical reasons.
After careful research on community outreach programs for seniors worldwide, I've determined the best solution for our communities is to build senior playgrounds in social spaces, especially parks. Beginning with China in 1995, senior playgrounds have been popping up around the globe including Europe, Japan, Canada and currently several cities in the United States.
Exercise is the best medicine. It has been well-documented, particularly for senior adults. Being outdoors and exercising at senior playgrounds have been successfully practiced for decades in Asia, Europe, and more recently in parts of the United States.
Senior playgrounds are fitness parks that may include balance bridges, cardio bikes, tandem elliptical machines, hand-eye coordination activities, and face-to-face leg presses. These components of low-impact exercise equipment are designed to improve balance, coordination, and flexibility.
The Great Age Movement’s goal is to collaborate with community parks and local organizations to place senior playgrounds near areas of dense senior living populations. Partnerships with senior clubs and residential living centers will ensure participants and transportation to sustainable outdoor exercise programs created by us and guided by our volunteers. Seniors will have access to education and training programs for our senior playgrounds. With time, we will add programs to the playground site including meditation, yoga and stretching.