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Supported gyms allow older people to work at their own pace

(Photo: Adobe Stock images)

The Living Longer Living Stronger™ progressive strength training program operates at 100 sites across Victoria. Some programs are large and some are small, some operate from multiple sites and all vary slightly as they pursue best practice in strength training for older people. The Uniting AgeWell program is a good example of this, and Derek Cameron tells us why.

Derek Cameron has been overwhelmed by the results after using Uniting AgeWell’s state-of-the-art gym in Noble Park for just three months. The fully-supervised seniors gyms at Forest Hill, Oakleigh and Noble Park, are equipped with Helsinki University Research (HUR) air-resistance equipment that reduces stress on joints and allows users to work at their own pace. Smartcard technology also automatically sets the correct resistance, providing a tailored program for users, while allied health professionals are always on hand for support.

I had emergency open heart surgery last year, so I had to build my strength back up carefully,” Derek says. “The Uniting AgeWell staff devised a program to suit my rehabilitation needs, and they took a lot of care and attention. I’ve come a long way in three months. I’m pretty much back to where I was before.”

Derek first learned about the fully-supervised seniors gym in his local newspaper and decided to give it a try. “There’s always somebody there to give you advice, tell you how to use the machines or keep an eye on you,” he says.

HUR Gym Project Manager, Amanda Mehegan, says while Uniting AgeWell provided senior services, the gyms are also suitable for clients under 65, including those with mobility challenges or disabilities.

Before they get started, an allied health professional assesses every client and develops a personalised program for them. Once set up, the client inserts their card into the equipment. The equipment applies the correct resistance, prompts the client to use the equipment properly and monitors their repetitions. When clients are ready to increase the resistance, our team can adjust it by as little as 100g at a time, reducing the risk of overloading.”

The seniors gyms are a unique compliment to Uniting AgeWell’s allied health and therapy services, and support the Living Longer Living Stronger  philosophy. GPs, rehabilitation services, hospitals and other allied health professionals refer clients who are ready for exercise and wellness services.

The HUR Gym system provides progress reports that clients find particularly motivating and can take to their GP or physiotherapist to share their journey,” Amanda says.

For more information about Uniting AgeWell’s seniors gyms, call 1300 783 435.

If you do not live close to Forest Hill, Oakleigh or Noble Park then visit COTA Victoria’s Living Longer Living Stronger™website to find out about the program closest to you or call us on 1300 13 50 90.

If you represent a facility who would like to offer the Living Longer Living Stronger™ strength training program, please contact us for more information.

This news was categorised Get Involved, Programs and tagged with , .

2 Responses to Supported gyms allow older people to work at their own pace

  1. Margaret Byron says:

    How come there isn’t one in the South Melbourne / Albert Park / St Kilda area?

  2. Brenda Lacey says:

    Hi Margaret,

    Thanks for alerting us to the fact that we have no LLLS gyms in the areas that you identified.
    We recognise that there are gaps, however we are aiming to double the number of gyms involved over the next 2 years and encourage those gyms in areas where we have no representation to join the LLLS program.
    Our Caulfield centre may be able to provide the service that you require currently as it is our largest centre and has over 80 sessions per week with excellent staff.
    Otherwise you could try going to your closest gym and ask if they have ever thought of being a Living Longer Living Stronger provider. We have had a number of gyms become a part of our program that way.

    Again thanks for your enquiry.

    Brenda Lacey
    Information Officer