Walking with Confidence in Casula

on the Thursday, July 8, 2021

Local seniors are attending Catholic Healthcare’s Walking with Confidence program, designed to help improve balance and strength in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The Wellness Centre, based at the newly opened Holy Spirit Residential Aged Care in Casula, is running Walking with Confidence, as well as the Feel Fit exercise program. It’s also a great place to meet other seniors in the local community, build friendships and share information.

Many of the seniors attending the Wellness Centre are accessing Commonwealth Home Support Programme services or Home Care Packages designed to support them on their wellness journey and help them to continue living independently at home.

Like 93 year old Molly who is enjoying the Walking with Confidence program and has already noticed improvements in her core strength and balance.

“I was beginning to get into some bad habits because of a fear of falling,” says Molly. “I was leaving the lights on at home all night and wasn’t using my walker the way I should. These exercises have increased strength in my legs and I feel more confident walking outside and at home. It has been really good to follow the exercises and meet other people from the area. I feel stronger and I can walk further than I have for a long time.”

Qualified physiotherapists and fitness professionals are running the exercise programs.

“Falls can have a dramatic impact on our wellbeing and independence,” says Sarah Fragiacomo, Catholic Healthcare Health and Wellness Coordinator and Physiotherapist. “One in three people over the age of 65 have a fall each year and if you fall once, you are 2-3 times more likely to fall again that year.

“The Walking with Confidence program is a 10-week, two hour course where clients can learn how to identify their own falls risk and learn lifestyle tips to stay active and independent.

"The specific exercises improve balance and strength and get clients 'walking confidently'. The first half of the program focuses on a different educational topic each week such as recommended footwear, home hazards and managing medication. The second half of the course focuses on the physical component practising strength and balance exercises that research tells us can reduce your falls risk by up to 30%.

“Regardless of your age, it is important to maintain your functional independence. The key motivator to maintain independence in older people is so they can live in their own homes and community for longer.”

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