Aging well in South Routt

Visiting Nurse Association program targets those 50 and older

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— Jeanne Upbin says need is a good word choice -- as in, people 50 and older "need to work on flexibility, strength and balance."

Upbin, a personal trainer and registered yoga instructor, is working for the

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's Aging Well program.

A variety of flexibility, strength and balance classes have been ongoing in Steamboat Springs since April, but as the program expands, the VNA hopes to add classes throughout Northwest Colorado.

South Routt is next on Upbin's list.

"I was told people really wanted a class," Upbin said.

The Flexibility, Strength and Balance class is from 11 a.m. to noon Fridays beginning this week at the South Routt Community Center in Oak Creek.

It will be a six-week introductory class, and there is no charge to interested adults.

"It's for everyone over 50," Upbin said. "There is limited registration because I don't want to work with more than 10."

People can register by calling Upbin by Wednesday at 846-3326.

The class will be broad in scope and will include strengthening and balance work. as well as breathing and relaxation movements.

"Through the VNA and other community partnerships, we are trying to cover as many ways for people over 50 to remain healthy, safe and independent," Aging Well programs director Dace Kramer said. "We have had a wonderful response. The community, the governments, the organizations, the funders and the people themselves have been very enthusiastic about it."

Kramer said there are between 6,000 and 7,000 residents 50 or older living in Routt and Moffat counties. That numbers is growing rapidly as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age.

At the same time, Kramer acknowledged that the area's older citizens often are more active than typical pre-retirees or retirees.

"We are trying to make sure aging well becomes a type of culture in our region that supports independence, fitness and prevention as a way of life, so when the 50s becomes the 80s, they are less inclined to go into institutions."

By offering a comprehensive list of classes for all levels of fitness, Kramer and Upbin think Aging Well will provide a beneficial public service.

Aging Well also plans to expand its classes from Steamboat and Oak Creek to Hayden and Craig.

"I do think there is a stigma (attached to aging)," Kramer said. "Aging and retirement can be a time of anticipation, not apprehension."

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