Retirement Community: Top Ten Things to Consider When Choosing One

Retirement Community: Top Ten Things to Consider When Choosing One

Retirement community choices: Aged-care expert Phil Usher of Odyssey Lifestyle Communities tells us what to look out for when choosing to right-size into a new home.

We all want to love where we live, at the end of the day, it is the place we will call home. When you start looking into a retirement community, whether this is for yourself or a senior loved one, it’s important to understand there are many factors to consider.

Think about when you moved into your first home. There were many aspects you weighed up, thought about and sought advice for that brought you to the decision of whether to purchase or keep looking. Relocating into a retirement or aged care community is similar, but the questions and considerations are a little different.

Retirement community choices: Aged-care expert Phil Usher tells us what to look out for when choosing to right-size into a new home.

Retirement Community – WHAT TO CONSIDER

1. LOCATION

It doesn’t matter how old you are, location is still an incredibly important aspect when moving from one place to another. Most people want to remain in an area that offers familiar surroundings, places and faces. And of course, being near popular shopping hubs is a major draw card! It’s a misconception to think retiring in the outer suburbs is cheaper. And while this can be a factor, if affordable, most people want to be in the thick of it. Living near family and friends is another aspect as we all want to see our kids and grandchildren as we age.

2. LIFESTYLE

When looking at a retirement community, it’s important to see what kind of environment and social setting is offered. We all need real social interaction, especially as we age. Find out if the location has a varied calendar of events and outings to participate in or, if you or your parent are not social butterflies, check and see if there is a good library or areas to simply sit and enjoy watching the world while engrossed in a good book. Select a community that suits your needs and profile.

3. LONGEVITY

A great question to consider: can you stay at your chosen community for life or will you need to move again if you or your partner’s care needs change? This point needs special consideration, as many operators claim to have a true ageing in place model, where you can live life your way without moving again, but few actually deliver this.

Ask what level of care is available on-site and not coordinated via an outsourced group or person that sets it up. Also ask if there is real 24/7 care at the community that, if needed, can be ramped up until life’s end without having to move again. 

4. KNOW THE COMMUNITY RULES

Even in your senior years, you’ve got to pay attention to the rules. Common rules to look out for are, can the grandchildren stay over? Can you entertain in your new home and utilise common areas? And, can friends join you for a meal? Can you bring your pets? Can you call the shots, always? All these things really add up to ensuring you retain your independence and that you can and should have the final say.

5. IT’S ALL ABOUT FOOD

Food is such an important part of our day as we age, so it needs to be delicious and nutritious! Check to see whether the community has a chef (Odyssey has three!). And, check what their qualifications are. Peruse the menu and enquire how often it changes and whether it is à la carte. The days where you are expected to accept what you are given are over. Mealtimes are great for socialising, so the atmosphere needs to be ‘restaurant’ rather than ‘dining room.’

Retirement community choices: Aged-care expert Phil Usher tells us what to look out for when choosing to right-size into a new home.

6. CHAT WITH STAFF

Conversing with the staff is the perfect way to find out what a place is really like. Ask questions about all the above points and be certain they are genuine answers and not just lip service. Be confident and inquire about the employees, their training and their requirements for working there. Look into whether the care staff are qualified or whether they work for the community or for a subcontracting entity. Ask about how the community is run and what services are on offer or at hand. These are all fair questions to ask, especially when it comes to nursing qualifications.

7. WHAT ABOUT SECURITY

It doesn’t need to be Fort Knox, but you want to know the place you live offers a secure community. Check to see whether there are physical security gates that close at night, 24/7 staff in case of an emergency or if care is required, CCTV to monitor common areas and whether the community offers technology aids to assist with your security. Technology is becoming commonplace, even in the aged care sector. There could be an Artificial Intelligence system designed to assist in monitoring all manner of things. Check the communication system, particularly given the pandemic, and make sure you have access to video calls and telehealth. You want to know that all these things are in place and there for you in order to feel safe and secure.

8. RETIREMENT COMMUNITY: SPEND TIME THERE

To get a real sense of the place, you need to experience it beforehand. Make some enquiries to see if you can come along for morning tea and chat with the residents. This way, you’ll get the scoop on what life is really like in the community firsthand. Take a stroll around the grounds and make sure they are in good condition, that way you know your community is well kept by people who care.

9. RETIREMENT COMMUNITY CULTURE

This is a really important point – the community needs to ‘feel’ right for you. Does it give you a sense of home and can you see yourself there? Listen to your heart and make sure you tick this box, because it will make all the difference. Chatting with staff and residents will help you with this point and you can also jump online and read reviews.

10. ASK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL OPTIONS

Another important aspect of retirement is understanding how the financials work. It’s best to compare apples with apples. Make sure you take into account what quality of life you want, as it has a value that should not be ignored. Make sure you compare what you want across all prospects and then determine what you are prepared to pay.

PHIL USHER – RETIREMENT COMMUNITY CARE EXPERT

Phil Usher has been part of the aged care sector for almost 20 years. He has a keen understanding of what seniors want when it comes to living out their twilight years on their own terms.

Phil’s Mum, who passed away from dementia-related complications, was the driving force behind why he’s created an alternative to traditional aged care. When considering aged care for her, Phil couldn’t find a place that offered her the kind of life she wanted. So he made improving aged care his odyssey. If it’s not good enough for the people Phil loves, it’s simply not good enough.

Phil’s determination to create the best alternative to aged-care led to a fresh, heart-centred approach known as a Lifestyle Care Community. At Odyssey the power is given back to residents. People are put first, they have their own home in a lifestyle-orientated community, couples stay together, pets are welcome, grandkids have sleepovers and most importantly – comfort, dignity and independence are the first priorities.

Got a to-do list? Get it done! Here’s why!

Cancer Danger Years: Staying Ahead of the Game with Proactive Medicine

Cancer Danger Years: Staying Ahead of the Game with Proactive Medicine

Cancer danger years: The ages of 40 to 70 are the danger years for many life-threatening diseases, in particular cancer. So how can you reduce the risk to you and your loved ones? You could catch the disease before you even have symptoms by getting a regular whole-body MRI. Dr Zane Sherif explains why this service is so vital.

Myself and my wife Dr Kirralee Sherif (PhD) founded Mermaid Beach Radiology so patients have the power to be proactive about their health, rather than reactive. Getting a whole-body MRI at the right time can mean the difference between life and death. We just had a male patient who was otherwise well, who came in to see us for a general health and wellbeing scan. Himself and his wife just wanted to get checked out, just to stay on top of their health. They said to me, “We service our cars once a year, why wouldn’t we service ourselves?”

FULL BODY SCAN

They had a full-body MRI scan. No abnormal pathology was found on his wife. But unfortunately, the chap had lung cancer. While this sounds like a total disaster, the disease was caught in its very early stages. He felt great and he was completely asymptomatic. The chap wasn’t coughing. He didn’t have any weight loss. This situation is what we call ‘pre-clinical.’ And this is exactly what a general check with a whole-body MRI is designed for. If he left this health situation until he was symptomatic, he could have had an entirely different outcome. A lot of the time, when you’ve got cancer, you don’t get diagnosed until symptoms like weight loss and other problems become obvious. Often at that point, it can be too late.

CANCER PROGNOSIS

Back to our lung cancer patient. Luckily, the cancer was in the very early stages, and was sitting in the middle of his lungs. If he’d left it a few more months, then the tentacles of that cancer could have wrapped themselves around critical vessels, and then it would be inoperable. But, because he chose to be proactive with his health and get our whole-body MRI scan, it was caught very early. From this point, he has many options to treat the cancer. Three months or six months down the track, he may not have had those options. Imagine hearing the words “I’m sorry, sir, it’s inoperable. Chemotherapy might extend your life for six months. ”But if we catch the disease this early on, you may have plenty of options, which could be curative ones at that.

Now, his prognosis is excellent. He’s going to survive this, and likely be cured from it. It was an isolated lung cancer. And again, it was in the middle of his lung, so it wasn’t touching any vessels, and could easily be removed by surgery.

When he was in hospital, he had a PET scan (an imaging test that allows your doctor to check for diseases in your body. The scan uses a special dye containing radioactive tracers.) His oncologist was unfamiliar with our full-body MRI screening.

When we did his whole-body MRI, we saw that there was no cancer anywhere else. His specialist sent him on for a PET scan. The PET scan came back and showed exactly what the full body MRI scan did – there was a solitary lesion with no metastasis, great correlation.

GET A SECOND OPINION

It’s always great to get a second opinion. We are the people to see if you want a second opinion! So, from our point of view, it was good that he got a PET scan. However, it didn’t offer any additional information and he has paid a bit of a radiation cost for that. Whereas the whole- body MRI does not use radiation. It uses magnets to create an image.

Our patient was a smoker. He says he smoked about five a day. Not anymore! He is in his seventies. So the cumulative effect of smoking, even small amounts of cigarettes does creep up on you! This is the perfect person to have a full-body MRI. But there are other people who live very healthy lives, and they still get afflictions like cancer, so regular non-radiation-based scanning is a great option to help get an early diagnosis.

CANCER:

WHY QUALITY MATTERS

We designed Mermaid Beach Radiology to be small and fabulous. We want to offer the most personalised service on the best imaging equipment science has to offer. Our fleet includes Australia’s only Spectral CT scanner in private practice and the extraordinary research grade Philips Elition X 3T MRI scanner.

A full-body MRI scan using equipment on the very cutting-edge of technology is a great tool to help stay ahead of many catastrophic health issues such as cancer. If you’re relatively well, as in you have no real symptoms, but there’s a strong family history of “badness” in your family, then get that scan. It gives a level of peace of mind. And, it can detect cancer in its early stages and deep pockets of infection. It can show a lot of other things as well, but its primary utility is cancer screening. It’s very accurate.

FULL BODY SCREENING

Full body MRI screening is common in the US. They have many private clinics where you can just turn up and get a yearly scan. We need to start doing that here in Australia. In Europe, Japan and the US, MRI is used to validate with PET and real time imaging during chemotherapy to determine if drugs are working without imposing the radiation that these other scans do.

Even if you are well, it is still a good idea to get the full-body MRI scan. If you already have a disease process going on, we can look at the burden of disease. We can monitor that burden as it gets better, or if it gets worse, or if it’s responding to treatment, or if it’s not. Adjustments in that treatment can follow.

CANCER:

CANCER: BEING PROACTIVE

I am a strong believer in proactive health checks. No one will mourn the loss of your motor vehicle.

Whereas there are plenty of people who will mourn the loss of your life if you stop existing. Your kids, your family, your friends, your business partners. Your health is your most valuable asset. You are no good to anyone, impaired, impaled, or dead. So, it’s really about prolonging your life and this is your responsibility, especially if you have kids or other people you look after. Your life is really only partly yours – and mostly your family’s life. I exist pretty much at this stage for my kids. So, my health is of paramount importance to me, because I can’t help anyone if I’m not around. So, why would you get a full-body MRI on a regular basis? You would get it done because you value your health above all else.

WHAT IS THE DOWNSIDE?

There is no major downside to looking after yourself in this way. There’s no radiation. The only downside to this is an hour and a half to two hours of your time and a little bit of money. But from as little as $1500 now, you could save tens of thousands of dollars in treatment down the track for something that could have been caught earlier and more importantly saved you a tonne of misery. It is money well spent.

The reason why people come to us at Mermaid Beach Radiology is not just that we use a three- tesla (3T) research grade scanner, but because the sequences we run are custom written, research enhanced and not commercially available. In America, they often do this scan on a 1.5 T MRI. So we are well ahead of the game here. But also, we have Ben Kennedy on staff. He’s our MRI and Clinical Research Director. He has a master’s degree in MRI from the University of Queensland and he is coding the machines here to do stuff that no one else in the world is doing right now. We have plenty of world-firsts at this clinic because of the machines we use, and the work Ben is doing with them. And, you can’t get this coding anywhere else. This is all highly customised, and it’s all research enhanced.

CANCER: WHY YOU, WHY NOW

After age 40 is the right time to start getting regular full-body MRI scans done. Other than childhood cancers, the cancer frequency for people age 20 to 40 is much less than older people. This is because a lot of cancers are from a lifelong toxin exposure. It’s not just one thing that usually causes cancer. It’s a multitude of things. But by the time you’re 40, you’ve had enough exposure to all of this to create the perfect storm. One cigarette doesn’t kill you. But it’s a lifelong exposure to cigarette smoke, to general pollution, chemicals in food, and in the air we breathe. The body is pretty tough and robust, but the peak of cancer starts to show its head by about the age of 40. Of course, there are younger ones, but they tend to be rarer.

There are other things we look for, outside of cancer. Recently a person came in for a full-body MRI scan. We didn’t find any cancer. But we found a large hiatus hernia on her (when your stomach bulges up into your chest through an opening in your diaphragm). So, there’s frequently other incidental pathology that we’ll find. She then said that she wondered why she had a problem with belching and bad breath! Now she knows!

Medicare – as wonderful as it is – has its limitations. If you want to be at the forefront of diagnosis, it is sometimes a user-pays model. But the beauty of this and with MRI in general, is that because you’re paying for it, you don’t need a referral, which is empowering. You can be ahead of the health curve by spending a little bit of money.

If you ever feel like you’re being blocked or not heard, you can say right, stuff it, I’m going to go and get a full-body MRI scan. And then I’ll come back to you with what the MRI finds. Very empowering stuff.

CANCER:

CANCER: TRUST YOURSELF

Keep in mind that no one knows your body better than you. You are hardwired to every part of your body. So, when you go to a doctor and you say, ‘this is how I am feeling’ and they say, ‘oh, it’s probably nothing’ – you don’t have to be satisfied with that answer. You can take matters into your own hands. You can drive your own health. The only cost to you is time and money. There’s no radiation or biological cost.

INVESTMENT

The cost we charge covers a large body of work. It takes about 90 to 120 minutes to acquire the data. It is another 90 minutes to put it all together. And it takes me about the guts of an hour to report it. There’s a tonne of data to sift through. So, it’s a massive body of work. Plus these machines cost millions of dollars, and you are getting access to them and the cutting-edge of diagnostics. So if you look at it as a value proposition, you are getting a great deal.

You don’t have to do much to prepare for these scans. You just have to turn up. Because you are going to be on the scanner for 90 minutes, we would just discourage lots of drinking of water or caffeine. You don’t want to fight the urge to go to the bathroom in the middle of the scan!

All you need to know is that you have to put your health first – nothing is more important.

Mermaid Beach Radiology

Phone: 07 5619 9499

Store 2469 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Email: info@mermaidbeachradiology.com.au 

www.mermaidbeachradiology.com.au

Q Super Centre Summer Shopping – Something for Everyone!

Q Super Centre Summer Shopping – Something for Everyone!

On the corner of Bermuda and Markeri Streets in Mermaid Waters, Q Super Centre is a shopping mecca right in the centre of the Gold Coast’s style map. The Silver team catch up with all the news from the popular shopping haven. Newsflash: There are new stores! Yay!

With the absolutely stunning Summer weather arriving, an outdoor shopping centre is the way to indulge in some retail therapy while enjoying those famous Gold Coast breezes. We can shop for our favourite things, and enjoy being outside as well.

Q Super Centre is on one level only, so there are no stairs to navigate. And it is beautifully landscaped, giving the feeling of being in an oasis, protected from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. So what is happening this Summer at Q Super Centre?

Q Super Centre – New Places to Explore

We all love food! So the good news is that Q Kebab House has burst onto the scene! Look out for Turkish kebabs and pides, homemade sauces, chips, Turkish coffee, baklava, tulumba, and falafel. Yummo! You will find them located near the Woolworths entrance.

There’s also a new café called Seeds of Life. Amazingly, they are a grain-free and gluten-free organic plant-based wholefoods manufacturer. Heidi and her team create the recipes with ‘organic gluten-free nutrition.’ Delicious and healthy! The wholefoods bakery is located at the Aldi end of the centre.

This is where you meet a friend to have gourmet lunches, coffee, delicious doughnuts, cookies and raw cakes. All the products are made onsite. Ingredients are certified organic or biodynamic, and predominantly Australian grown. The range is paleo/ vegan/ low carb/ keto and low calorie.

And that’s not the only brunch date hangout that is brand spanking new! Two Birds One Stone is a uniquely equipped café. It serves coffee and brunch and are getting known for their aromatic coffee which will put a firecracker in your day! They have an intimate knowledge of the foods people crave across the seasons. Grab a mate and try the best vegan breakfast on the Coast. 

FUR BABY FUN

As most of us know, Q Super Centre is becoming very well known as a doggie-friendly shopping centre. There are dog watering stations across the shopping centre, plus handy dog waste bags throughout the complex, and doggies are allowed in all the outdoor areas. Some stores also allow dogs inside.

To make sure dog parents know that Q Super Centre is fur baby friendly, the Q Ambassadog called Sidecar Bob has been deployed. He rides all over the Gold Coast with owner Mark Brereton in his motorcycle side car. He does this to promote Q Super Centre as dog friendly!

q super centre

Community Services

There are plenty of services for those in the community to avail of. There is a free JP service operation 7 days per week except public holidays (although this can change during Covid restrictions, please check with the website to see the schedule.) The JP Service is permanently located next door to Aldi Supermarket. No appointment is necessary.

Q Super Centre also have a food donation bin located outside Woolworths and the donations go towards St Johns Crisis Centre in Surfers Paradise.

There are over 80 retailers including three supermarkets at Q Super Centre. You will also find Bunnings, Pet Barn, and 12 dining choices, speciality stores offering gourmet fresh food, dining, hair and beauty, homewares, medical and health, banking as well as unique and boutique fashion. For more updates, keep an eye on Q Super Centre facebook or Instagram @qsupercentre or log onto qsupercentre.com.au.

Silver Hero Volunteers to Help Animals of the Outback

Silver Hero Volunteers to Help Animals of the Outback

Our Silver hero Leesa volunteers her spare time all across regional Australia to help both humans and animals. Here, she tells us about her volunteering adventures.

VOLUNTEER TRIPS

On Thursday Island, we did our first pilot program and that was with Vets Beyond Borders and AWLQ, and the Thursday Island Animal Support Group. I volunteered as a vert nurse, helping with health checks, doing an animal management program, desexing dogs, treating dogs for parasite treatment, and also talking to their owners regarding tick treatments, and unwanted pregnancies or unwanted litters.

silver hero

I absolutely love volunteer trips, I have been volunteering as a vet nurse with AMRRIC (Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities) for 11 years now. Plus, I volunteer in remote communities, Aboriginal communities, everywhere from Western Australia through to the Northern Territory and regional Queensland.

A lot of this is helping in the indigenous communities to do a desexing program. We want to desex more dogs. I know in some of the indigenous communities, they can have 10-15 dogs in a household. So cutting that down is an aim. There are often quite a lot of stray dogs in communities, and they can cause problems as well as having lots of litters, and if there are a lot of male or un-desexed dogs, there can be issues between male dogs having fights over female dogs. There’s a lot of noise, a lot of wounded animals, and a lot of puppies to look after. 

There’s also a problem with parasites – some are zoonotic. So that means that the parasites can transfer from humans to animals, or animals to humans. And so we help treat the dogs. We also do an educational program through schools, and with the community, and elders, just explaining what we do. We explain simple things from washing hands after the kids are playing with the animals, and how to hold your dog properly. What’s good food for cats and dogs, things like that.

silver hero

SILVER HERO – VET NURSING

As a vet nurse, I help set up our surgery area, also help with vet students and vets, making sure that we have all the proper instruments and attire, so that they can do their surgical work. I help the flow-through of patients.

One of the places we visit is Yuendumu, in the NT. AMRRIC is based in Darwin. We meet in Darwin, and then it’s about an 11- or 12-hour trip in the car to go there. There’s a team of us, usually, two vets, a two nurses, if we are lucky! We meet with the rangers or community members, and they help us work out where we’re going to be situated and where we’re going to stay.

I am a general practice vet nurse. So, I have my normal job and I have to either take unpaid leave or holiday leave. But I love the volunteering and I will do is as long as I’m still mobile and I can still get around. I always laugh with the ladies or whoever I’m out on the trips, and I’ll say, I’ll be out with my walking stick. And I love the interaction between people and their animals. I love to be able to help with animal welfare and make life better for animals and for their owners as well. I get to see lots of parts of Australia that you would not necessarily be able to go to because you would need special passes or permits to get into some of these communities. The day I have to stop, I’ll be really, really upset.

FUNDING

The funding for these trips comes from different sources. There are charities like AWLQ who help with the funding for Thursday Island. In other places, the councils fund the trips. We also try to get donations from drug companies for tick and flea treatments, for example. And a lot of the nurses and vets as well will donate some of the stock from their own practices as well.

AWLQ do a great job, and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. Due to being involved with the Thursday Island program, I’ve got to know Sylvana from AWLQ, and she’s just wonderful. And the work that she’s done as well in her time is amazing. I would love to do more work for AWLQ. I’m actually leaving tomorrow to go back for another week on Thursday Island, in conjunction with AWLQ! There is a lot of work to be done there. We’re always very, very busy once on the island. We have got an extra couple of team members this time! But we will still be working 13 to 14 hour days.

The AWLQ and the Thursday Island Support Animal Support are taking in unwanted or stray dogs. They are getting them back to health and adopting them out. Not just to the people on Thursday Island or the surrounding islands, but they do often go off to New South Wales and Queensland to loving homes.

SILVER HERO – VOLUNTEERS WANTED

We are always looking for volunteers. We need admin people, to help people fill out forms. There are also some statistic duties, where often we will do counts in certain communities just to get an idea of how many houses, how many people, and then how dogs or cats or pigs or horses that are owned as well.

With this type of volunteering, you’re forever learning. There’s always courses. There’s always something new to learn. It definitely brushes the cobwebs off!

Through organisations like AWLQ, Vets Without Borders and others, you’ll find amazing vets, vet nurses and then other volunteers that give up their time for the animals and people who need them. Everyone’s likeminded. They are wonderful people that come and volunteer. Even small things make a difference, like helping to clean some of the cages, to grooming animals, to watching them wake up from their surgeries.

There’s always going to be dogs and cats that need help and love. So as long as I’m around, I will be involved.

Be a silver hero and donate to AWLQ, or to leave a bequest, click here.

To volunteer, click here.

Or pick up the phone and call (07) 5509 9000

silver hero

BallyCara – Living with Purpose, at Every Age

BallyCara – Living with Purpose, at Every Age

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.

CASE STUDY

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.

CASE STUDY 2

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.

BALLYCARA EXERCISE SESSIONS

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.”

Recovery

“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.

BALLYCARA: INDEPENDENCE

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.”

BALLYCARA: JOINING UP

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 homecare@ballycara.com

For any questions or enquiries about the Wellness Program email wellness@ballycara.com

Otherwise call on 1300 272 222.

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