Letter: Does Ridgefield care about its senior citizens?

To the Editor:

Silver Sneakers is a fitness program for seniors that’s helping millions of people on Medicare defy the odds, shatter stereotypes and answer every challenge with, “I can do this!” SilverSneakers includes unlimited access to every participating gym and fitness center in the network. That’s a gym membership at more than 14,000 locations.

In an email to First Selectman Rudy Marconi on June 4, I asked why Ridgefield does not have this locally. He referred me to Dennis DiPinto at Parks and Recreation.

Why? I have addressed this issue with the Recreation Center, and each year I get the same message: No.

Joyce Dynia, operations supervisor, said in August 2017, “This program has been discussed in great length on numerous occasions.” She also states that it will be in direct competition with Founder's Hall and Rec Center's group exercise program. Does it fit their “pay as you go” system? The Rec Center does get paid, just not direct from participate but from their Medicare supplement insurance provider.

Other cities, even Bridgeport and Brookfield (DiPinto’s previous employer), participate in this program but not Ridgefield?

On June 11, Mr. Pinto said that the Recreation Center will not be offering Silver Sneakers (SS). He stated that Silver Sneakers denied the Rec Center access to their program a few years ago based on the assumption that the area has ample SS coverage. He then stated the recreation center has over 930 senior individuals on the $9-a-month membership.

My reply to him was simple: The senior membership does not let a person into the fitness

center, treadmill, bicycles, exercise machines, etc. … I take issue with your statement that Silver Sneakers denied access.

On June 19, I addressed the Parks and Recreation commission about Silver Sneakers. Just received a letter from them (Phil Kearns, chairman) that they will take up the matter in September.

Wow! Another three months! Why the delay again?

John Burke

Gilbert Street, June 26