Focus on independence at home
Published at: 16 Nov 2018
The 101 Group Program focuses on helping older people remain independent, focusing on the skills and aptitudes they have learned throughout their lives.
The weekly program assists people to function as best they can in their home environment, and incorporates exercise and a range of education sessions with speakers from the community. These include discussions on foot health, continence and occupational therapy, focusing on modifications in the home that help people remain self-reliant.
“We’ve had discussions on dietary requirements that people may need as they age,” said RAHT Team Assistant Marina Stevens. “The topics can be wide ranging, but we focus on what’s important for the group.”
Each 150 minute session – held on Tuesday mornings - involves a range of warm up exercises and activities.
“We focus on warming up, incorporating some fun,” said Ms Stevens. “We play mind games, games with balls, and then move on to strength and balance exercises.”
Each participant has a minute at each station around the room, focusing on different areas of the body. The exercise routines have been planned by physiotherapists, with assessments prior to the program beginning.
Carmel and Betty met Ms Stevens through a walking group. Both came in for an assessment and were in the fourth week of the program at the time of this chat.
“I was too frightened to do anything, though I was getting home help,” said Carmel. This has given me more confidence – it’s great for those who are a bit older and a bit frailer.”
“It’s been very informative,” said Betty. “We’ve heard from nurses, about holistic care, all about how to look after yourself.”
“Betty tried to get some free advice while the podiatrist was here,” laughs Carmel.
“That didn’t work out so well!” admits Betty.
Both ladies are excited by the opportunity to take part in the group sessions. Both were looking forward to visiting Aquamoves for some personal training, and another to Vision Australia for a cooking class for their wind up day.
“What’s lovely is that everyone is very comfortable about talking about different important issues,” said Carmel. “That’s the idea of sharing and gaining something from one another.”
Carmel and Betty have developed quite a rapport in the time they’ve been attending the group. They are musing on Christmas as the session, which takes place the Tuesday after the latest leadership spill in Canberra, wrapped up for the day
“This year has flown – there are only three more PMs until Christmas,” Betty chuckled.
“Often when you’re admitted to hospital they ask you who the PM is - that’d be a good memory game!” Carmel laughed.
Both agree that they have improved immensely over the course of the program.
“We’ve had a nice time - I think it’d be nice to keep catching up after this is over,” said Betty.
“I’ve come away thinking it’s so easy,” said Carmel. “I do the exercises at home now. I get a lot out of it - it’s the best.”
“At the end we’ll do another and look at how they’ve progressed,” said Ms Stevens. “That will give us a guide to hopefully get people to keep going at home, as the exercises are simple enough to continue without supervision.”
The 101 Group Program can be joined by logging on to MyAgedCare, with no limits on participant numbers or gender. The RAHT are hoping to run several groups a year.
“Community based programs are there to fill a need - everyone can get a lot out of it,” said Ms Stevens. “People gain so many social benefits. It’s been really lovely to see that evolve – the friendship and reaching out, it’s really great.”
The 101 Group Program helps older people enjoy good health and happy, independent futures at home. The six week program takes place from 10am-12.30pm Tuesday mornings at Community Health@GvHealth, 121-135 Corio St.
To book your place telephone the Group Co-ordinator Marina Stevens on 1800 222 582.