‘Silver Sneakers’ program a victim of push for younger, upscale users

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As a long-time member of the Piedmont Fayette Fitness Center, I, too, was extremely disappointed to receive a notification that the Silver Sneakers Program would not be accepted when the facility moves to its new location at Pinewood Forest.

The new facility has been rebranded as the Piedmont Wellness Center at Pinewood Forest and is presented as a facility offering the most upscale and innovative programs available in the world of fitness. This includes cycling through digitally created worlds and maximizing athletic performance in an exclusive training ground.

All of this, of course, comes at a price with a $100 orientation fee and a $79 monthly membership fee (discounted to $72 for seniors).

The jump from $0 with the Silver Sneakers Program to $72 monthly might be more than some senior budgets can tolerate. Even those seniors not eligible for the Silver Sneakers Program would find membership fees almost doubling from present rates.

With the understanding that fitness centers can, at any time, sever their relationship with the Silver Sneakers Program, the timing and presentation of the opening of this new facility seems to be in sync with Fayetteville’s plan to try to attract a more millennial-based population. If that is indeed the case, then it is a job well done.

It’s a shame that the affordable fitness center which has promoted positive health and wellness goals for many seniors will no longer exist.

The current facility has fitness classes and equipment that meet the needs of most seniors. Most are not seeking more exotic options.

Seniors both from the general population and from a post-rehabilitation situation have found the pleasant, encouraging atmosphere at the present center to be a very positive force in striving for wellness for many years. The social interaction at the current location is also an important factor in achieving positive fitness goals.

The new facility is clearly designed to attract a more exclusive population as the current programs are upscaled to serve Pinewood Forest.

Henry Dickerson
Fayetteville, Ga.