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Senior playgrounds: Gyms for the elderly

• Written by Thom

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Respect for our elders is usually spoken about in regards to our manners; helping older people across the street or carrying their bags for them. These small gestures are of course accepted by society in the UK. But, we rarely speak about how we can really help the elderly in being more independent and leading healthier lifestyles.

Senior Playgrounds

Gyms can be too daunting with complicated equipment that older people to feel uncomfortable to try. Whilst fun, more relaxed activities are often aimed just at young children, or more physically able athletes, like indoor rock climbing centres. What’s lacking for our older generation is a fun yet safe way to exercise and meet new people.

Senior playgrounds have proven successful in Hong Kong and China, as explained in this article from the Telegraph. By taking senior playgrounds seriously here, they show publicly that their elderly people are a respected and wanted part of the community. Elderly people shouldn’t be hidden away, but instead encouraged to have their own space in society.

Taking Elderly Playgrounds Seriously

What is it that stops us from enjoying seeing our elderly residents living well and happy? We walk past young children laughing and playing every day and can see how it helps them grow in confidence and improves their well-being. The idea that age should be a regulator of fun is not good for our mental and physical health.

The aim isn’t for elderly people to get super fit; it’s more important for them to move and be active in a fun way. A playground is a perfect environment for this, it’s also familiar; they may have taken grandchildren to the local park and visited a playground when they were kids themselves.

We’re all big kids at heart and time out for fun is very important for all of our well-being. It’s also a good way to meet people of a similar age and get elderly people out of the house and enjoying the fresh air outside.

Check out the senior playground in London that was launched in 2010.

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