Thursday, January 23, 2014

Silver Sneakers, Best Deal Going for Couch Potato Seniors

When we became eligible for Medicare, we got our extra coverage through AARP.  This led to our eligibility for the Silver Sneakers program. The health plan thus pays for our Health Club membership.

There are many facilities which participate in the program and you have to find the one which suits you.  Our community rec center was built in the 2000s so it is state of the art with two swimming pools, tracks and everything else you could ask for in fitness.  With silver sneakers it is also free for both of us. Jim likes the oval indoor track and the stationery bike. I like the whirlpool, pools and steam room. This is over a $300 savings yearly for us!

There are also special free classes for us. These include yoga classes, water workouts, and so forth. Other rec center members have to pay for their classes. This also saves at least another hundred bucks per person per annum.

Then there is the special equipment developed for us. Silver Sneakers has the niftiest kick board for pool use I have ever used. I use it in both deep and shallow water. This wider shape gives you much more stability in the water.

This has worked out extremely well for us. I wish I could say that I found the Silver Sneakers website a delight to use as well.  I did not. I found it so counterintuitive that I asked the rec center to set up my Silver Sneakers account with the website as I found the people there impossible for processing my account.  The rec center took over and processed it for us. I did need it initially, however, to discover what health facilities near me qualified. Here is a link to its website,  silversneakers. Here is link to its location finder. This is how the location finder worked me, shown in the below photo (clicking on it loads a much bigger pop-up photo).

The reason this works out well for everyone involved is that the silver sneakers users tend to use the facilities when no one else does.  They are in no way restricted in when they use the facilities but generally most of us show up either in the morning or mid day and are long gone by late afternoon forward.  This is when everyone else shows up. Also, there is a special sign up device so that the health plan only pays for those of us actually showing up. For those seniors who join but rarely use the center, the plan is not stuck with a big bill.

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