Mobility and mood better

Lawrence-Tuapeka area residents (from front) Betty Fitzgerald, Kip Herring, Esmae Paul and Irene McNoe get active in the Lawrence Rural Health Centre rest-home lounge. Photo supplied.
Lawrence-Tuapeka area residents (from front) Betty Fitzgerald, Kip Herring, Esmae Paul and Irene McNoe get active in the Lawrence Rural Health Centre rest-home lounge. Photo supplied.
Lawrence senior citizens are keeping fit and healthy with the help of a programme run by the local branch of Rural Women NZ.

The Age Concern ''Steady As You Go'' programme, which is held at the Lawrence Rural Health Centre rest-home, both for residents and the wider community, introduces fitness, balance and mobility to seniors and gives them an opportunity to socialise with their peers.

Beaumont Tuapeka Rural Women member Kim Murtagh said the group spent time training in Dunedin before starting the programme for residents at the local rest-home in Lawrence.

The first class began last year, and classes are due to resume later this month.

Ms Murtagh said the programme was ''relatively open'' as far as age goes with participants taking an initial fitness level check, then another after 10 weeks to record improvements.

''No matter what your age, a bit of fun exercise with a group of friends can bring a sparkle to the eyes and laughter to the air.''

The participants exercise without realising it using special balls and other donated equipment in a mood-lifting environment that even the oldest resident can enjoy, she said.

''There are gently spectacular improvements in the mobility of all the participants,'' district nurse Kirsty Garner said.

Beaumont Tuapeka Rural Women members Margaret Healy, Raewyn Brae, Margaret Stevenson and Bev Lawrence attended training in Dunedin and began the programme last June.

-helena.dereus@odt.co.nz