CareGiving Club Fitness

aging in place fitness

“You’re only one workout away from a good mood.” 

—Unknown

 

Caregiver Opportunity Cost

According to The Family Caregiver Alliance, Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months, and on average invest 24.4 hours per week providing care (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.). Further, a recent report from AARP on family care-giving show that more than 10 million millennials in the U.S., are acting as unpaid caregivers (informal caregivers).

I’m a caregiver, this is my lane and has been for over 6 years and counting. It’s been challenging to fit it all in and there is an opportunity cost because something has to give some place. For many (and often for me too) that something has become the exercise space. It’s a dilemma, you’re told as a caregiver to “take care of yourself” but that’s easier said than done. Often at the end of a long day or week, there are too many tasks and not enough hours or energy in the day to fit in fitness! All this got me thinking about how to continue a fitness program as a time pressed caregiver. So I contacted a buddy in the senior fitness industry and ran an idea by him to see if it’s been done. He’s running it by his staff and colleagues.

Thinking out loud wouldn’t it be an interesting niche for a club to offer “burst sessions” for caregivers at the club. A focus on those who need to keep fit and are caregivers. Short, concentration of workouts and social support, offer caregiving tips, listening sessions, focus groups, and eldercare in house during their workout. It might need to be flexible due to acute caregiver demands that can change in a heart beat (literally).

To me, with these kinds of numbers and the issue only going to grow, the market already exists for some enterprising health clubs. Perhaps it already exists? If not, this could be revolutionary!

Components of a Caregiver Fitness Session

  1. Time session flexibility
  2.  In-club caregiver support to watch over loved one (like day care only short session)
  3.  Burst Sessions (short and comprehensive)
  4.  Listening group/deep listening done by instructors
  5.  Focus Groups
  6.  Caregiver tips / Resource sharing
  7.  Building social capital opportunities  (for caregivers and care-receivers)

See

Fitnessover50

For more information and statistics on caregivers see caregiver.org 

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