Today’s blog will explore the 5 types of older adult clients you will work with as a FITPRO. It will help you break down your assumptions and plan sessions safely and effectively. You’ll learn:
- An 11 minute video
- Identifying assumptions about older adult clients
- Are you qualified to work with older adults as a FITPRO?
- 5 Types of Older Adult Clients You’ll Work With As A FITPRO
- Invite to become qualified to instruct exercises for older adults
Start by watching the 11-minute video tutorial…
Watch: The 5 Types of Older Adult Clients You’ll Work With As A FITPRO
Identifying assumptions about older adult clients
Having assumptions can leave you confused. You may end up overcomplicating or oversimplifying your client plans, all based on the assumptions you may have about the ability of your clients.
You may know a 70 year old client who is super fit, and assume all other 70 year olds are fit.
Or know a 70 year old that is disabled and therefore assume all 70 year olds have limited mobility.
These assumptions leave us to make judgements about the ability of all older adult clients, based purely on age. Instead it is important to see our clients as individuals and understand WHO they are and WHAT their needs are.
This will lead to creating the best plans for each client, and get results every time.
An older adult is an individual, with varying abilities. However they also have a set of specific considerations based on an ageing physiology, which will affect your programming.
Are you qualified to work with older adults as a FITPRO?
Most fitness qualifications do not include knowledge to cover the FITPRO to work safely with older adults. The traditional Gym, PT, Pilates and Yoga qualifications allow you to work with healthy adults, that pass a PARQ and are under the age of 65.
If you want to work with older adults then you will require an additional qualification to equip you to understand the differences required when programming for older adults.
The 5 Types of Older Adult Clients You’ll Work With As A FITPRO
1. Disabled Clients
If you specialise in working with older adult clients, you may have clients that are disabled. This could be totally wheelchair-bound, partial paralysis or reliant on a walking aid.
To work with clients that fail a PAR-Q, or have long term medical conditions you must be qualified. The Level 3 Diploma in Supporting clients with long term conditions, teaches you how to work with these clients. Without this qualification you’ll be limited to the type of older adult clients you can work with.
Disabled clients will likely need seated exercises, and more supervision or assistance. If you are going to help the client do standing work, consider how safe this is. You’ll need to factor in space, the stability of equipment, client ability, and whether you need an extra pair of hands.
If the client is participating in a class, they may need assistance from a carer or support worker.
Your disabled clients will have a limited exercise library. The focus should be on the frequency of moving to help improve quality of life, rather than variety.
Exercise choice will have no impact on joints and is unlikely to be weight-bearing.
2. Limited Mobility
Some older adult clients will be new to exercise, and looking to achieve a better quality of life. This will include those that are dependant
To work with clients that fail a PAR-Q, or have long term medical conditions you must be qualified. The Level 3 Diploma in Supporting clients with long-term conditions, teaches you how to work with these clients. Without this qualification, you’ll be limited to the type of older adult clients you can work with.
3. Beginner & Active
It is likely that you’ll come across older adult clients that are active and mobile, but are beginners.
This means that they have a limited skill level in the gym or in your specific exercise class. However, they have no mobility issues.
You’ll find planning for these clients is much like planning for younger adults that are beginners. Sessions should start with the basics and building the fundamentals of movement. Then progress towards achieving the ACSM guidelines for activity:
- 150 mins of moderate activity per week
- 2 x resistance sessions per week
- daily flexibility exercises
4. Already Active
Some of your older adult clients will already be active nd have a relatively high level of fitness. It is particularly important to hold a consultation with your client to find out their goals.
Then see them as an individual and progress towards their goals using training variables and principles. This is the same as the approach you would take with younger adults, that are already active.
You may need to add more considerations for niggles, aches and old injuries compared to younger adults. Just make sure that you are working within the scope of practice you are qualified, and focus on their goals.
Carers and support workers are often overlooked as a type of client. As we age, so do our spouses, friends and family also age, which may require more time caring for them. You can expect that when working with older adult clients, you will also be working with their carers.
You may encourage your sessions to become rest-bite for carers, giving them chance to take time out. Or you may suggest they join in with the class or gym session.
Exercise is a great chance for them to “switch off” and do something for themselves. They’ll also benefit from a sense of community in group classes. Using gameplay and making classes fun, is a great way to include all abilities in one session. Just make sure that you are not assuming they will assist during exercise sessions. Instead give the carer the opportunity to enjoy it, so they are encouraged to come back time and time again.
Get qualified to instruct older adults
Our new Level 3 award designing exercise programmes for Older Adults, is launching later this month. You can be one of the first to learn, qualify and start working with older adult clients safely and effectively.
Plus you learn the effects of ageing, the impact on the UK population, programming considerations and how to instruct older adult clients, so you know your sessions are safe, effective and insured.
Become knowledgeable and confident at working with older adult clients.
This is for you if you’re…
- attracting clients that are 65+
- a newly qualified FITPRO that knows they want to work with older adults
- want to run exercise sessions in retirement villages or care homes
- need planning ideas and adaptations including chair-based exercise
- want confidence and knowledge so you know the session are safe
- looking to expand your client portfolio
Dedicated to More
Hayley “The 5 Types of Older Adult Clients You’ll Work With As A FITPRO” Bergman
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Read more Older adult and specialist blogs: HERE