The Silver Sneakers Fitness Program was founded on the premise that for health care to be viable in the long run, preventive, cost effective measures needed to be incorporated into the continuum of care.
Do programs like Silver Sneakers work? According to the latest research and member testimonials, they do. In a nationwide study of more than 9,000 Silver Sneakers members, 14% reported having diabetes. Forty-one percent of diabetic members reported having improved health after one or more years of participation and 46% reported improved body weight. High-risk, sedentary behavior was reduced by 59% with Silver Sneakers participation. Additionally, other research has shown: Silver Sneakers participants, who’ve experienced a cardiac event, utilize preventive care more often, are less often admitted to the hospital and have lower overall healthcare costs. Older adults with diabetes who participate in Silver Sneakers are also admitted to the hospital less frequently, have lower inpatient care costs and after only one year, see significant reductions in their overall health care costs. Greater participation in Silver Sneakers is also associated with significantly lower risk of depression.
Thanks in part through a grant from the Foundations of East Chicago, the hospital-based program has been provided with a comprehensive facility. The Foundations also covers the $45.00 orientation fee.
“Without the support of the Foundations we wouldn’t have everything we need. It was definitely a blessing,” Clark said.
In addition to helping older adults stay physically healthy, Silver Sneakers offers a great way for them to meet new friends and socialize.