Article from The Halifax Citizen by Suzanne Rent
Photo credit: Darrell Oake
Zoomers Physiotherapy and Health Solutions in Halifax is celebrating one year of helping clients get back into action. Laura Lundquist opened the business after working in practices in Ontario and British Columbia.
A former competitive figure skater who also played rugby in high school and university, Lundquist already knew the value of physiotherapy she had to help heal sports injuries. She went on to study physiotherapy at McMaster University.
“I really like the idea of helping people get back to doing the things they loved, whatever that is,” she says.
Lundquist works with clients of any age, but does focus on working with those who are age 50 and older. The clinic is named after the term “zoomers,” which means baby boomers with zip who continue to be involved in the physical and social activities they love. The term was coined by gerontologist David Demko in the 1990s. Lundquist has worked in clinics with clients ranging from children to seniors, but found zoomers had a particular need.
“I always had the idea for Zoomers, but when I found the market was there for it, I wanted to provide a place for people that going to the gym was not part of their lifestyle, but they recognized they needed to work on their strength, work on their balance and flexibility,” she says.
“If they weren’t comfortable with a gym, they were at a loss for a place to go.”
The risk of injuries can increase as we get older. Lundquist says as we age, it’s normal for our muscles to gradually get weaker and for our bodies to lose flexibility and balance. The recovery process can be different and having guidance can be helpful. Lundquist treats a lot of clients who hurt themselves and then lose their confidence and don’t want to go back again to the activity that caused the injury.
Zoomers Physiotherapy and Health Solutions has in-clinic physiotherapy, massage therapy, occupational therapy and dietetic services. Clients come from around the region, but the services are offered through home visits as well.
“If you can’t come to us, we’ll bring our services to you,” Lundquist says.
Zoomers Physiotherapy and Health Solutions also offers fitness classes in Pilates, yoga, tai chi, balance and strength and fall prevention, which are often led by health-care providers and physiotherapists from their staff. The classes provide individualized attention to clients. Clients with hip and knee osteoarthritis can also take part in a seven-week GLA:D program, with exercise and education sessions.
Lundquist says they have enjoyed getting to know people in the community and she wants to continue to create a community for zoomers, where they can get good health care when they need it.
“We can follow their health and fitness needs throughout their adult years,” she says.
Over the past year, Lundquist says they brought on new physiotherapists and have grown their offerings in fitness classes. And she says people are coming back.
“So, someone who came to me six months ago for an injury is now coming back to join a class,” Lundquist says. “I’m looking forward to really helping that community grow and seeing that people are meeting and making friends. There’s a real sense of camaraderie growing.”