Thursday April 12, 2018
Elderly exercise group aims to prevent falls By Jamie Adams
With more people suffering falls as the population ages, a local eldercare organisation is encouraging more seniors to join its specialised exercise programme to prevent them happening. Age Concern’s Steady As You Go (SAYGo) programme has seen new classes introduced
around the Wellington region among 21 nationwide, with one recently starting up at Seatoun Village Hall. SAYGo is based on the Otago Exercise Programme that was developed in 2003 with additional exercises developed by physiotherapists. The charity’s Wellington support services co-ordinator Ann
Dalziel says the classes are targeted at elderly people vulnerable to falls and involve exercises that deal with strength and balance. “For older people getting back to where you were before can be very hard after you twist your ankle after a fall,” Ann says. The sessions involve practising three movements - the “sit to stand” test, the “timed up and
go” test and the “tandem stand” test. A tape-recorded instructor guides participants through the movements which involve lifting and extending arms and legs at various angles at a slow pace to establish brain patterns that ultimately improve co-ordination. “After 10 weeks there’s a real improvement in co-ordination and balance.” The sessions are ongoing and intended to have a participant take over leading the group after 10 weeks. “It’s what we call a peerlead course,” Ann says. “It’s continuous and doesn’t stop for the holidays.” The groups are as much an opportunity to socialise
afterwards as they are about fall prevention. “Each week they each give $2 before the session and at the end of the 10 weeks they spend the total on what they want.” There were nine participants, all women, at its last Seatoun session, and Ann encourages more elderly locals, of either gender, to join up. “Twelve would be good.” SAYGo hourly sessions catering to anyone living in southern and eastern Wellington are held at Seatoun Village Hall, Forres St, every Tuesday at 11am. For more enquiries call Ann on 04 499 6646.
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Ann Dalziel, left, leads the Steady As You Go group at Seatoun Village Hall on Tuesday. With her are Gael Cameron, centre, and Lee McKenzie. PHOTO: Jamie Adams
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Cook Strait News 12-04-18