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SANDWICH GENERATION: Seniors stay active, thrive at YMCA

Experts agree the key to living a long, healthy life is staying connected with the community.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is strengthening communities by addressing and meeting the needs of the growing aging population.

According to the National Institute on Aging, 10,000 people become eligible for Medicare daily, a rate likely to continue over the next 20 years. And by the year 2050, there will be nearly 89 million older adults living in the United States, more than double the number in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts say physical, mental and emotional health is important as we age to help prevent injuries and reduce the risk of dementia and depression. And with a focus on healthy aging, the YMCA is addressing all aspects of wellness and is helping older adults stay active physically, mentally and socially.

“The Y offers health and wellness programming tailored to seniors at every fitness level,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. “Our goal is to help every one of our ForeverWell participants live a healthy, connected and fulfilling life.” 

Recently, the YMCA hosted its 14th annual "Gathering," one of Minnesota’s largest and fastest growing annual events for active older adults. Y members were recognized for their commitment to healthy living.

The Thrive Awards recognize YMCA members who:

  • Reveal the impact of exercise on overall health and wellness
  • Volunteer regularly within the community
  • Model and embrace inclusion, compassion and diversity
  • Strengthen others
  • Demonstrate perseverance in some area of their life

The Y participates in the Silver&Fit, Silver Sneakers and Renew Active programs for Medicare-age members and encourages people to check with their insurance provider to determine if they are eligible. Health and fitness offerings for seniors include cardio classes like Zumba Gold, Aqua Zumba, line dancing, group cycling, circuit training, water exercise classes, yoga, walking clubs, and Tai Chi. Recreational activities include pickleball, book clubs, potlucks and field trips.

Because the YMCA is a leading nonprofit committed to helping seniors thrive, financial assistance is available to those in need. To learn more about the Y’s programs, click here.