For the sake of seniors’ well-being and mental health, the Québec government and public health department need to raise the number of participants allowed for indoor and outdoor amateur sports and recreation activities.
Inconsistencies abound. FADOQ clubs that own their building can rent out their premises for funerals or weddings where up to 250 guests are permitted to attend. Meanwhile, they can accept no more than 25 participants in the club’s regular activities—in the very same room.
Although desired and eagerly awaited, the easing of measures allowing the Bell Centre, Videotron Centre and movie theatres to operate at maximum capacity has raised many eyebrows among FADOQ members. While thousands of people can gather at sporting events and shows, a FADOQ club’s activities, even with the vaccination passport, are still limited to 25 participants indoors and 50 outdoors.
Many FADOQ clubs have been unable to resume their activities because of these restrictions. Clubs with especially large memberships are deciding to suspend their activities rather than having to refuse access to some.
The consequences of inactivity for seniors are grave. Some geriatricians say that it can take seniors up to three days to recover after one day of inactivity.
The health benefits of physical activity and recreation for seniors are many. Socialization helps to combat the loneliness experienced by many and to create lasting circles of support. Sports promotes balance, reduces falls and injuries, and keeps seniors independent longer. Not to mention the maintenance of cognitive health, which is essential for active aging.
Guidelines followed to the letter
With the goal of returning to normal life quickly, seniors were the strongest supporters of the vaccination campaign. In fact, the vaccination rate for people aged 65 and over exceeds 95%.
For Réseau FADOQ the health and safety of our members is paramount. Every governmental directive is scrupulously followed, public information is relayed, the use of the vaccine passport is well established and our organization encourages its members to get vaccinated.
All the conditions are now in place to safely increase the number of participants in amateur sport and recreation activities. We hope that we will be heard and that the government and public health department will re-evaluate these restrictions so that seniors do not become—yet again—the pandemic’s collateral victims.
Réseau FADOQ President