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An innovative gym program is getting Redland seniors out of bed after injury and back into an active lifestyle.
The specialised equipment is being rolled out to Churches of Christ Care’s residential aged care services at Mitchelton, Bribie Island and Stanthorpe and new developments at Boonah, Caloundra and Warwick.
It follows the success of an 18 month trial at Churches of Christ Care’s Buckingham Gardens Aged Care Service in Alexandra Hills.
“It’s quite common after a stroke, sickness or a fall that requires bed rest for a person’s muscles to decline. Our physiotherapists are giving people back their independence by designing specialised exercise programs that work in with this rehabilitation-specific equipment,” explained Bryan Mason, Director of Seniors and Supported Living.
Dubbed Buck’s Gym, the dedicated exercise room at Alexandra Hills has seniors in mind.
Equipment has extra padding and rather than clunky weights, machines all work on air-pressure.
“Most gym equipment only allows a five kilogram change in weight. These weights can be set at 100 gram increments, which is safe and gentle and means no muscle fatigue the next day,” explained physiotherapist Craig Wilson.
In consultation with a physiotherapist, users are issued a swipe card with their personalised exercise program. That card then slots into any machine, automatically setting the weight and number of repetitions they can safely lift. It also keeps a record of their regime and progress meaning an accurate review of results.
“One lady came here from hospital, told she would never walk again. The physios started her off on a light exercise program, then got her in the gym. After a couple of months she stood up on her own and walked,” explained Mr Mason.
“Another resident, post cancer treatment wasn’t able to lift a cup. After time in the gym lifting weights, the 86-year old has now put on muscle and increased his strength by 900 percent.”
The Buck’s Gym program has had an uplifting effect on the positive wellbeing of both staff and residents according to Mr Mason.
“We are inspired by these results. The more uplift we can bring to a person, the less they are thinking about the things they can’t do and more about the things they can.”
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