4 June 2021

Lifting each other up at our Arcare Parkwood Fitness Group

From tailored exercises to group activities, members in our Fitness Group at Arcare Parkwood is constantly lifting each other up.

“We initially started up the program as a few male residents wanted to have a fitness group of their own,”

“So, we started a male-focussed group incorporating weight-lifting and activities they would done at the gym when they were young,” Sarah said.

Sarah is our Physiotherapist from Plena HealthCare and has been at Parkwood since it opened in November 2019.

Many of the residents in our Dementia Community have benefited from it.

Some of these residents experience unpredictable behaviours, so having an outlet for them to expend their energy and foster male camaraderie has been very beneficial.

They have also seen an increase in the number of non-mobile residents getting involved and enjoying the class, such as Warren who is a below-knee amputee and Tony who has motor neuron disease, both are in electric wheelchairs.

“I really enjoy the camaraderie amongst the group, especially when playing with the inflatable bat, it’s all a bit of fun,”

“I’ve joined for a year now and my goal is to improve my fitness; the fitness group has helped my movement and coordination,” Warren shared.

The Fitness Group initially began with different circuit stations, however, it has now evolved to 30-minute group sessions where everyone completes the same exercise together.

Some of the exercises they do include Theraband resistance, dumbbell exercises, lower limb cardio, core exercises and balance exercises.

Then, they complete another 30 minutes of an interactive group activity, such as volleyball, balloon tennis and a game of seated soccer.

“In this format we are able to modify the exercises for them so that these residents can participate more easily and in a fun and supportive environment,” Sarah shared.

Residents are shaking hands with each other, forging more positive relationships and strengthening their camaraderie through encouraging each other.

“I have personally noticed that everyone has become a lot more comfortable with each other and that residents in Dementia community are remembering the exercises and games we have played,”

The Fitness Group is so popular that a few female residents have also joined, starting a friendly competition between the men and women.