Ballycara: Have you got a parent who needs a little extra help to stay in their home? Or do you yourself want some “home friends” to help you stay independent? In our cover story, we investigate the services that Ballycara are offering to add extra support to people in their later years.

BallyCara want people to live fulfilling lives regardless of age. And at Silver Magazine, we are all about the living-well mantra. So it is no surprise that we are really impressed with this not-for-profit! Their Wellness Program has been developed and delivered by qualified health professionals. It promotes optimal physical, mental and emotional wellbeing at every age.


John has had a couple of falls. He has been told he can’t play tennis anymore because he’s lost his balance a little.

Craig James, Health and Wellness Manager at BallyCara: I’d like to see if there was a way that we could modify or adapt the “no tennis” rule. For example, we could try standing tennis – somebody could hit the ball back and forth to him. Tennis is a great way to keep up your strength and your balance.

John says he is very passionate about playing tennis. If you want to mitigate risk and minimise having falls, you need to improve balance. The way you do that is to challenge your balance, in a safe way. If tennis is what he wants to continue to do, we could have conversations around ways he could still be involved in tennis. This could be in a safer setting with softer tennis rackets and tennis balls and working it into a program. And ideally, if his main goal is to return to tennis, we would try to support that. You can take small steps along the way. It might not get to the point of fully playing tennis again, but it’s the journey that counts. If you can keep moving forward with your passion, then that’s a result in itself.


Meena felt like she had lost her balance and didn’t have the stability to be able to stand for any period of time. She lost her confidence to cook.

Craig James, Health and Wellness Manager at BallyCara: When Meena came to see us, her main goal was to get back to cooking a curry in the kitchen. So we tailored the exercise program around that goal for her. We adapted the program and brought exercise into play. If it’s related to what the person wants, the motivation kicks in. As you get older you can improve your muscle strength, and you can improve your balance.

We went into the kitchen with Meena while she was cooking the curry. We supported her and advised her on how to move around while keeping her balance. She can now bend down and pick up pots and maintain her safety. The message that we want to get out there is you can improve no matter where you are on the aging timeline.


Many people find it difficult to start an activity program without the support and guidance of an experienced health professional. Ballycara’s exercise sessions give people the confidence to continue their fitness journey.

Craig James, the Health and Wellness Manager at BallyCara, says their health and wellness program on the Gold Coast is going from strength to strength. “It is a mobile program, and our main goal is to prevent chronic conditions. We support that in a reablement way. We work with our exercise physiologists across the community at a number of different locations, from Northern Gold Coast all the way down into Northern New South Wales. Our clients come to us through a range of referrals including General Practitioners, The Heart Foundation, walking groups and various other health fields that align closely with us. We also take on people privately.”


“People might call us for a variety of different reasons. It might be recovery from injury or illness, rehabilitation, post surgeries, or prior to going into something in the hospital. Sometimes they have to lose weight or be fitter for a medical appointment. They might call us because they want to increase their ability to keep their strength to play with their grandkids. They might want to do things around the home, and just feel a bit better in themselves when they’re doing things.

“If you want to join up, you can get a referral from your doctor. The first step is to have a conversation with us and get an initial assessment. We’ll measure your strength and work out how you are coping in your day-to-day life. But we’ll also get to know you as a person – what your likes and dislikes are. We want to make sure what we prescribe is safe. But we want it to be enjoyable too, so that you’ll want to participate and stick with it.”

You can do your program on a one-to-one basis or participate in exercise classes. If you want to attend with a couple of friends, that’s also possible.


Says Craig, “I have clients that are still living at home and driving a vehicle at the age of 99. And they are coming in for exercise. They are feeling confident and living independently at home. I think a lot of people want to stay independent in their own homes. And they want to keep doing the things that they love. And exercise is just the tool in ways in which you can achieve that.

“We love to answer general enquiries! But if you have more detailed questions around specific reasons for wanting to attend, we can refer you on to our senior exercise physiologists on the Gold Coast. They can work out whether an individual session or maybe a group class in a community centre might be best suited for you. We want people to enjoy what they’re doing. It’s about coming along and having fun while getting the benefit out of the sessions.”


Alongside their Wellness offering BallyCara is an accredited Home Care provider. BallyCara has a flexible approach to the delivery of services ensuring a package is tailored to what you require in order to support you to achieve and maintain your individual goals well into the future. The local BallyCara Gold Coast Home Care team will help you through the journey by listening and exploring with you, your background, needs and preference to ensure your independence and continued enjoyment of community living.

It is important to note that Veterans Affairs and Home Care package subsidies are available for your Wellness and exercise journey. You can also get a Chronic Disease Management Plan referral from your GP. If you are eligible for a Home Care package or would like to find out more along the lines of funding and payment options, the BallyCara team are on hand to help navigate and support you through this journey.

For any questions or enquiries about BallyCara HomeCare email

For any questions or enquiries about the Wellness Program email

Otherwise call on 1300 272 222.

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