Gero-kinesiologists—combining the studies of geriatrics care (relating to older patients) and kinesiology (relating to body movement)—are researchers who specialize in understanding the effects of aging on movement, strength, flexibility, and overall well being. They are also physical trainers, who teach older adults how to age healthily and maintain their independence and dignity. Gero-kinesiologists might develop custom exercise programs for adults with limited mobility, perform health assessments, recommend exercise routines, or even lead fitness classes for older adults looking to stay in shape. They might also advise aging professional athletes on how to keep their edge as they age.
In 2030, as Canada’s aging population grows, it’ll be more important than ever to encourage healthy lifestyles in aging adults. Studies show that even moderate physical activity can slow aging-related decline of everything from mobility to short-term memory. Having people who understand aging and can design exercise and wellness programs for seniors will be a crucial part of taking pressure off of assisted living, social service, and healthcare organizations, and most importantly helping people remain healthy throughout their lives.
In addition to an interest in biology and physiology, gero-kinesiologists have a passion for helping people stick to their goals and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Good gero-kinesiologists are driven by results, but they also take the time to listen to and understand their clients, and tailor their programs to fit their interests, goals, and abilities.