Why Veteran Care Coordination’s Founder Promotes Pickleball as an Important Component of Senior Wellness


Recently, Kyle Laramie participated in a pickleball fundraiser benefiting The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Northeast Missouri, which emphasizes its commitment to safeguarding children, fostering family healing, and preventing abuse. Laramie is the CEO and founder of Veteran’s Care Coordination, a company that assists aging veterans, surviving spouses, and family members navigate the home care application process.

As an advocate for senior independence and welfare, Laramie recently wrote about how pickleball has transformed the lives of seniors in terms of their physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

The phenomenon of pickleball, with its roots in tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has captivated an expansive audience across the United States, becoming a beloved pastime for many, especially seniors. This exploration focuses on the meteoric rise of pickleball and its profound effects on the well-being of the elderly, emphasizing its role beyond a mere recreational activity.

Genesis of Pickleball

The game emerged in 1965, conceived by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum in Washington state, as a fusion of elements from various racket sports. The inventors crafted a game that was accessible yet challenging, leading to the creation of unique gameplay terms such as “dinking” and “the kitchen line”. The quirky name “pickleball” is believed to have been inspired by Pritchard’s pet dog, Pickles. The game has seen a resurgence in popularity, with the Association of Pickleball Professionals noting a 159% growth in participation over the past three years, indicating a booming interest with 36.5 million players in 2022 alone.

Community Influence and Expansion

A pivotal aspect of pickleball’s popularity is the sense of community it nurtures. The sport has been instrumental in forging lasting connections and promoting active social lives among players. Its accessibility and adaptability have contributed to its widespread adoption in various venues, attracting attention from public figures and securing a place in mainstream sports culture.

Senior Health and Fitness Benefits

For seniors, pickleball provides a balanced physical activity that caters to their fitness needs while minimizing injury risk. The game’s design promotes muscle engagement, joint-friendly exercise, better balance and coordination, effective weight management, and cardiovascular health, making it a suitable and beneficial choice for older adults.

Psychological and Social Rewards

The benefits of pickleball extend to mental and emotional health, offering a platform for cognitive engagement, stress reduction, and improved self-esteem through skill mastery and competitive play. It also facilitates intergenerational interaction, enhancing social connections and community belonging. 

Embarking on the Pickleball Path

Seniors interested in adopting an active and socially engaging lifestyle will find pickleball to be an enriching option. Resources for beginners are plentiful, with local community centers, sports facilities, and online platforms providing easy access to equipment, training, and play opportunities.

Pickleball’s impressive growth reflects its broad appeal and multifaceted benefits, particularly for seniors. It stands as a testament to the game’s capacity to improve physical health, foster social connections, and offer mental stimulation, making it a standout choice for seniors seeking a comprehensive, enjoyable fitness regime.

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