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New strength and balance class offered for improved health and wellbeing in Edenhope

15 May 2023

Grampians Health Edenhope is introducing new strength and balance classes to help people improve their mobility, balance, and overall wellbeing. The classes are based on a gait and balance program that has had great success in other areas of the Wimmera.

These classes have been introduced and are being run by Occupational Therapist Ashleigh Mayberry.

“The program aims to help individuals strengthen and stretch their back, hips, legs, ankles, and feet, which can improve walking and completing daily activities such as shopping, spending time with grandchildren, and playing sports. The program also aims to improve core strength, posture, and balance to help individuals feel safer and more confident in their daily lives,” said Ms Mayberry.

“The classes are designed for people who feel unsteady while standing or walking, who are worried about tripping or falling, or who have had falls or near falls. The program is also a social opportunity to get out and about, learn new things, and understand what services can be accessed right here in Edenhope.”

Standing and seated exercises, as well as fun activities such as quoits, bowling, and other games are included in the program.

“I provide tailored assistance to those who are not as confident or able, and I also provide more intensive exercise to those who are finding the exercises too easy. My allied health assistant also adapts the exercises based on the person’s ability level.”

The goal of these strength and balance classes is to help people feel more confident and capable in their daily lives and not let the fear of falling hold them back. It’s also a chance to meet new people, have fun, and improve overall health and wellbeing.

Based at the Elsie Bennett Centre, the program runs for six weeks for approximately two hours per session. The first hour consists of exercises and the second hour consists of a cuppa, chat, and education session with a health professional. Participants are also recommended to complete at least one hour of exercises at home throughout the week.

For those who may feel hesitant or unsure about attending the classes, Ms Mayberry suggests trying it out. If it’s not to their liking, it can be tailored to something like a home exercise program to suit an individual’s needs.

To join a class, community members can contact the Health & Wellbeing Hub on (03) 5585 9830 and speak with Marnie or Narelle. Bookings are required to join a class.