Today is National Senior Health & Fitness Day, which is celebrated across the country by highlighting great programs that are meeting the physical needs of older adults. Right here in Indiana, The Salvation Army is seeking every day to make our neighbors’ golden years fun, engaging, and healthy.

OA Christmas aDecreased mobility often accompanies aging, so the first step to any successful program is making it accessible. For The Salvation Army Eagle Creek Corps Community Center, the answer is location, location, location! Next door to the corps is Booth Manor, a place where older adults in Indianapolis can find affordable housing with all the benefits of living at a Salvation Army-operated property. Each week, residents visit the Eagle Creek Corps for fellowship lunches and staff and officers head over to Booth Manor to offer special on-site programs.

For other corps, reaching the seniors in their communities means taking to the road and picking up those who are home-bound or lack transportation. senior_health_day bWhether they are headed out for a fun field trip, a much-needed shopping trip to Walmart, or an afternoon of bingo at the corps, these caravans always end with a good time and fellowship.

Staying active and engaged are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle at any age, so some Salvation Army corps take their senior activities a step further with fitness classes designed specially for older adults. According to the National Institutes of Health, “regular physical activity and exercise are important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults. Staying physically active and exercising regularly can produce long-term health benefits and even improve health for some older people who already have diseases and disabilities.”

senior_health_day aHealthy eating is also important as we age, which is why The Salvation Army invites local seniors to take advantage of our on-site food pantries. In Indiana, over 1.1 million people depend upon food pantries to help them feed their families, and 13 percent of these Hoosiers are seniors. From Bloomington to Fort Wayne and Marion to Madison, these pantries are helping to keep Indiana’s seniors healthy and nourished.

As we celebrate all the fun ways that The Salvation Army is helping seniors stay healthy and fit, remember that these programs are only possible because of your tremendous support. Thank you for helping us make the golden years shine in Indiana!