Geriatrics and Extended Care
Gerofit - A Program that Promotes Exercise and Health for Older Veterans
The Gerofit Program
Gerofit is a supervised exercise program for older Veterans that was developed at the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, in 1986. As a part of Gerofit, you are given a personal exercise program based on your physical profile and goals. You are welcome to remain in the program as long as they wish.
Gerofit can include individual and group based exercises such as Tai Chi, line dancing, balance, core coordination, and strengthening classes. Your exercise program may include treadmills, elliptical machines, stair climbers, bicycles and a variety of strengthening machines. Guidance in carrying out the exercise program is provided by trained exercise staff such as a nurse or physical therapist.
Participants in the program have demonstrated improved health, physical function and well-being. They have shown improvements in blood pressure, diabetes management, symptom management, well-being, quality of life, physical function, overall fitness, and longevity.
Gerofit is a great way for older Veterans to stay active. Learn about other evidence-based VA and community programs for staying active including:
- Gentle Tai Chi, aquatics, and walking routines that are safe, easy to learn, and suited for every fitness level
- Enroll in a class with other people, or buy a DVD to do exercises at home
Go4Life (National Institute on Aging campaign)
- Helps you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life
- Offers exercises, tips, and free resources to help you get ready, start exercising, and stay active
- Includes an exercise guide, a video, and an interactive website
- A national weight management program designed to help Veterans lose weight, keep it off and improve their health.
- An exercise program for active, older adults. Walking, weight training, yoga.
Gerofit - a component of Well-Being
Staying Active is an important part of over-all Well-Being. The components of Well-Being are:
- Stay Active
- Stay Safe
- Find Balance
- Eat Healthy
- Sleep Well
- Maintain Relationships
- Nuture Your Spirit
- Lower Stress
- What’s in My Community
To explore additional ways to enhance your well-being visit: www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/Guide/LongTermCare/Wellness.asp
Planning and Decision Making
As you get older, you may benefit from a range of long term services and supports which help you maintain your independence. To learn more about these services visit Guide to Long Term Care. The section on Shared Decision Making empowers you with tools for participating in that process.
The Shared Decision Making Worksheet for Veterans helps you think about your health-related needs, what matters to you (i.e., why you want to be as healthy and independent as possible), and your options for long term services and supports and where you receive them. The Worksheet also helps you think about how you want to involve your family support person or caregiver, social worker and medical team in making your long term care plans. It can help you start the conversation.
The Self-Assessment Worksheet for caregivers or other support persons helps them think about their roles and responsibilities in relationship to you, and their own needs and preferences. Completing this Worksheet will help them better participate in the conversation.