Graceful Aging Through Connecting With Nature

The Brampton Environmental Alliance is pleased to announce that it has received grant funding from Employment and Social Development Canada to implement a “New Horizons for Seniors” project called, “Graceful Aging Through Connecting With Nature”.

The New Horizons program is designed to support healthy aging and to help seniors stay in their own homes longer. Falls remain the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among Canadian seniors. Research consistently shows that balance deficits, and decreases in muscle strength and endurance are significant contributors to increased risk of falling. Injuries from falling or concerns about falling are reasons for seniors to leave their homes and move to assisted living. Studies also show a link between falls and deteriorating mental health. Therefore, addressing balance through physical activity that improves muscle strength and endurance can have a positive impact on allowing seniors to age gracefully in place.

The BEA has taken this initiative and added a nature and environmental spin. “Physical activity, especially while being outdoors in nature, is a powerful tool to slow the aging process and improve health and well-being”, says BEA President David Laing. “Through this project, participants will be offered a range of outdoor activities to suit a variety of interests and abilities.”

The BEA has formed a coalition with several of its member organizations to deliver this program. Included in this partnership are, Sierra Club Peel, Friends of Dorchester Park, Heart Lake Turtle Troopers, People Against Littering, and Heart Lake Happenings. The objective is to encourage Brampton residents age 55+ to engage with the natural surroundings in local neighbourhoods and get healthy and fit in a supportive social atmosphere. The programs are being supported by Punjabi Community Health Services, City of Brampton Parks, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Credit Valley Conservation Authority.

Activities will range from more active guided nature walks, bike rides, tree-plantings, turtle watching, bird watching, and litter pick-ups, to gentle stretching and exercises in the outdoors while observing the natural surroundings. Stay tuned for a complete calendar of events on the BEA Events Page. The project runs from the beginning of May to the end of October. All the events are free and although they are designed to accommodate the needs of seniors, younger folks and families are also welcome. Registration and the completion of pre and post event survey is required.

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