The seniors in my class and I would like to give a very big thank you to Coun. Erwin Wiens and parks and recreation manager Kevin Turcotte who worked to find an alternative venue for our tai chi (taiji) classes.
We appreciated the support from Lord Mayor Betty Disero and all those who assisted us as well. Prior to this resolution, the concern that we had is described below.
According to the Stage 3 reopening on July 16, gyms and fitness centres are allowed to open with limitations. In our NOTL Community Centre, the upper level gym is open, but not the ground floor rooms for fitness classes, which will open in September.
This delay of classes affects the seniors in our community unfairly. I am a senior myself. Most seniors need specific exercise classes for balance to prevent falls. Unable to recover from injuries due to falls, they may end up in long-term care homes. This is a situation most seniors want to avoid.
There have been numerous studies done to find the best exercise modality for seniors to prevent falls. Harvard Health Publishing (part of Harvard Medical School) and Consumer Reports referred to an analysis of 10 studies involving 2,600 patients published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 2017.
It found that “older adults who participated in one- to three-hour tai chi sessions each week for up to 26 weeks lowered their fall risk by 43 per cent and cut in half their likelihood of injuring themselves as a result of a fall.”
Most surprising: the analysis also suggested that tai chi worked better than other approaches such as physical therapy, balance training, resistance exercises, stretching, or yoga to prevent falls.
Although we were allowed to practise taiji outdoors in the park this summer, many seniors in my group have balance issues and problems with heat. Speaking for the seniors in my group, I presented our situation to the town. At our ages, we do not have the luxury of time to keep waiting.
We were thrilled when we were offered the air-conditioned Mary Snider room in the Virgil arena to practise our Taiji-Flow right now. We greatly appreciate the compassion shown to seniors in this community by our town representatives, who found a resolution to our problem.
Yimlei Molly Yep
Autumn Leaf Taiji