The Great Age Movement is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2016. Our goal is to build senior playgrounds throughout the City of Houston’s public parks and provide volunteer 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 for seniors is to raise funds for our first senior playground installation.
Great Age Movement Organization came about after 16 years of professional service in geriatric physical rehabilitation. As a seasoned clinician serving as a geriatric rehabilitation specialist and business owner of present/prior staffing companies 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. The patients I've seen over the years often ask what is available to them in the community. I've encouraged many senior to join organized exercise classes whether at a local gym or through established organizations that offer senior activities. However, a common problem for many seniors is getting to the activity. 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 all of our communities is to build senior playgrounds in our social spaces especially parks. Beginning in China in 1995, senior playgrounds have been popping up around the globe including Europe, Japan, Canada and currently several in the U.S.A.
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 other organizations to place senior playgrounds near areas of dense senior living populations. The partnerships established with senior residential living centers will ensure transportation and sustainable outdoor routine exercise programs guided by volunteers. All community seniors will have access to education and training programs about using senior playgrounds. In addition to our fitness parks, Great Age Movement will support yoga and stretching programs tailored to people within this great age.