Health program supports Ageing Well

24 JANUARY 2019

* CSU research shows a regular 10-week fitness program has both physical and mental benefits for older regional Australians.* Participants increased their ability to do daily activities and were more satisfied with their lives over the duration of the program.* Participants received personalised attention from CSU allied health students who also received important intergenerational work experience during the program.Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers have shown that older people undertaking a regular wellness program have benefitted both physically and mentally from the ten-week program.The research team will present preliminary results of the Ageing Well project at a morning tea reunion to start at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January in the Community Engagement and Wellness (CEW) Centre, CSU in Albury-Wodonga.“The Ageing Well project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living in regional and rural Australia,” said team leader, Dr Melissa Nott from the School of Community Health at CSU in Albury-Wodonga (pictured left).“We targeted both the physical and cognitive abilities of older people in regular sessions, and also taught them strategies to use at home.”The 2018 program included 37 participants aged between 61 and 89 years. Each person participated in ten sessions, either weekly or twice weekly, at the CEW Centre at Thurgoona.“We found participants significantly improved their balance and outdoor walking, while all participants reported experiencing fewer cognitive difficulties after the program,” Dr Nott said.“Participants also increased their abilities to do everyday activities in their home and community from 60 per cent before to 74 per cent after the program, while their satisfaction with their everyday lives increased from 54 per cent to 74 per cent.“In addition, participants also appreciated the new friendships they formed during the program, while relatives also noticed the positive changes in the program participants.”The wellness sessions were run by CSU students from the physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry courses under supervision from CSU health academics and local clinicians, providing students with considerable intergenerational work experience.Dr Nott noted that the upcoming reunion “allows us to speak with participants about the benefits and impact of the program on their lives.“It also provides an opportunity to celebrate a unique and engaging program for older community members, whose thinking and mobility are challenged in a personalised and graded way.“Overall, the initial results of this program are very promising, highlighting that everyday functioning and satisfaction can improve in older age,” Dr Nott said.The Ageing Well program will be open to new participants in 2019. To enrol or for further information, contact Ms Tana Cuming on 02 6051 9266 or email next session is due to commence in April 2019.

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media for interviews on the Ageing Well program with CSU health researchers Dr Melissa Nott or Dt Kristy Robson, both based at CSU in Albury-Wodonga.

Media are welcome to attend the Ageing Well morning tea, which will commence at 9.30am on Thursday 31 January at the CEW Centre, CSU in Albury Wodonga, Ellis Street, Thurgoona, (behind the Thurgoona Plaza shopping centre). Park near the CEW Centre in carpark P8.

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Albury-Wodonga Wangaratta