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DMC RiverWalkers - A Fun and Healthy Walk Program for Seniors

May 12, 2017

Senior RiverWalkersDetroit seniors facts:

  • Detroit seniors average more than three chronic health conditions (the national average is two);
  • Their hospitalization rates are 43% higher than elsewhere in the state;
  • Their conditions index at a higher level of severity than other populations;
  • They have death rates that are 48% higher than elsewhere in Michigan;
  • They have chronic diseases prevalent in senior populations include cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer

Additionally, Detroit seniors are more likely to reside in an area with limited access to care than their counterparts across the state. These statistics led Detroit Receiving Hospital to build a state-of-the-art senior ER and to create the DMC RiverWalkers' program.

RiverWalkers is a free walking program that encourages wellness for seniors 55 years of age and older.  2017 marks the 9th anniversary of this successful program - a program that boasts over 2,000 members.

RiverWalkers provide seniors the opportunity to walk on the Detroit riverfront with their peers and friends where they socialize, have one-on-one sessions with DMC physicians to learn about their health, participate in free health screenings, learn hands on CPR training and engage in fun group exercise classes.  

The program takes place at Rivard Plaza on the Detroit riverfront every Tuesday and Thursday morning from the months of June – August.  All registered walkers receive a free t-shirt for signing up, along with participation gifts throughout the summer. RiverWalkers is sponsored by DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, Rosa Parks Geriatric Center and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

"I have participated in the RiverWalker program for 9 years both as a walker and as a volunteer," states JoAnn Hale.  "This program offers me and my friends, neighbors and family members a coordinated and consistent wellness routine during the summer months that is not only fun, but so important for our health and well being. We love it and appreciate the DMC for continuing the program."

Walking is the best exercise anyone can do to improve cardiac risk factors, such as cholesterol, diabetes, stress and high blood pressure. Several seniors have shared that since joining RiverWalkers their health and lives have been dramatically changed for the better.

The 2017 RiverWalker kick off is scheduled for Tuesday, June 6, 2017 starting at 8:00 a.m. For more information regarding RiverWalkers or to sign up for the program, visit

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