According to Bryan Hoffman, Meigs County Council on Aging director of wellness, Silver Sneakers is a program for residents of Meigs, Gallia and Mason counties, age 55 and over, designed by Healthways and through participating medical insurance companies, will pay for wellness fees and fitness class fees. A separate but similar program, the Prime Program, is available for those 18-55 years of age.
Hoffman explained the qualified participant only has to complete some basic enrollment information and can then exercise within the wellness center at the Meigs Senior Center or attend a fitness class at the center at least twice a week. Hoffman added the wellness center is also implementing a seated chair exercise program to increase muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, stamina and other benefits of exercise specific to seniors.
The Silver Sneakers program falls under the umbrella of Medicare and Medicaid, as well as many other insurance plans, and is completely free for qualified seniors. Hoffman said there are an estimated 1,700 residents within the three counties who qualify for the free program. Currently 15 participants are enrolled since the program began on Jan. 1.
Silver Sneakers is described as a “fun, energizing program that helps older adults take greater control of their health by encouraging physical activity and offering social events.”
Hoffman said those ages 18-55 have not been left out of utilizing Wellness Center programs thanks to offering the new Prime Program.
“If an individual’s health insurance program offers the “Prime Program,” which can be identified on the health insurance card, then this will work the same as the Silver Sneakers program,” Hoffman said.
Call Hoffman at the Meigs Senior Center at 992-2161 for more information.