12 Jun 2019

Moonah-500 Club celebrates

Seniors Living
Moonah Park Aged Care Service resident gym junkies Alex Suto and Margaret Taylor are celebrating their 500th gym visit, proving that age is no barrier to living an active lifestyle.

For many residents the gym is a meaningful place to socialise and exercise and improves their physical and social wellbeing.

Margaret has been an active member of the gym since opening at the service two years ago.

“I’m hoping I am getting stronger, 500 visits is just a number and I want to get to a stage where I can get myself in and out of the car to spend a day at home with my husband,” Margaret said.

Since installation of the onsite gym, Margaret’s physical mobility and quality of life has significantly improved, and she no longer depends on staff to move to and from meals and social activities.

Implemented by Allied Health Team Leader, Craig Wilson, the Helsinki University Research (HUR) exercise equipment can be tailored to the individual needs of each resident, in consultation with physiotherapists to help increase their functional ability and balance, to prevent falls, improve pain and enhance their emotional and physical wellbeing.

“The equipment operates with air resistance to allow smooth movement and increase weight resistance in small increments for people of all strengths and abilities to effectively exercise.

“I have seen the difference the HUR program makes and the huge difference in the ability of people and started seeing them walk independently again,” Mr Wilson said.

Many residents start their day by going to the gym immediately after breakfast, often queuing outside the gym patiently waiting for the doors to open.

Describing attendance to the gym as fulfilling, physiotherapists have seen firsthand how the HUR gym adds a sense of purpose and wellbeing to residents’ daily life.

Moonah Park Aged Care Service Physiotherapist Felicity Lewis said staff and volunteers have seen a big difference in the mental and physical health of residents.

“They are socialising, increasing their strength and regaining their independence,” Ms Lewis said.

Jeremy Parson, Moonah Park Aged Care Service Physiotherapist attributed the change in mental health to residents socialising at the gym, getting physically stronger and listening to music.

The program aligns with Churches of Christ Care’s Positive Wellbeing Model of Care which promotes meaningful ageing and living life to the full so every resident can feel comfortable, safe, valued, that they belong and have meaningful things to do and have opportunities to socialise and connect to the community.