Flowing and Ageing with Grace made Easy

Are Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi Moves for everybody? These activities might be new and unusual for people from different cultural backgrounds and older age.  Can they embrace them?  Even if it’s yoga from a chair? In a word, definitely! And from 8 May 2017, MACS’ Home Care consumers are now snapping up the chance up to attend Mindful Moves in the MACS’ chapel. According to their feedback they and their families are keen on the idea of their keeping active and independent. They want more. They keep coming back.

And getting to Mindful Moves couldn’t be easier.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Home Care Consumers are picked up from their homes in a MACS’ commuter bus. It’s driven by a MACS’ jovial and safety-qualified driver and lifestyle worker. There’s a second lifestyle worker in tow to assist those attending the sessions. No need to worry about venturing out!

Having access to reliable and safe senior transportation services is key to seniors’ accessing programs and resources.  It boosts their feelings of connectedness and independence. Because many seniors do not drive, transport would have to be a huge issue for them. Anything that supports seniors to get around and make independent choices certainly promotes their social health, let alone their physical health.

MACS gratefully acknowledges the Give Where You Live Foundation‘s Health and Well Being grant of  $16,949 to part-fund (one third) the purchase of  MACS’ second 12-seater commuter bus.

As it works out, though, for Home Care consumers attending Mindful Moves it’s a day out too. After the sessions, in the piazza delicious lunches, barista coffees in the MACS’ café, shopping in the MACS’ boutique, playing chess  with using oversized chess pieces, having a great hairdo in the MACS’ hair salon, visit the podiatrist, connect to the internet at the internet café, making friendships with people of similar cultural backgrounds, and accessing MACS’ multi-faith chapel await them. In some instances they might even visit other places of interest and or enjoy spontaneous outings.

At the end of the day it’s having fun together and connecting with the MACS’ community.

For a no-obligation query about Mindful Moves for Home Care consumers, call between Monday and Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 1300 622 778. If you leave a voicemail, you’ll be called back promptly. Or if you find email easier, just contact us using the ‘Get in Touch’ form on this website.

Mindful Moves is about ‘finding peace through movement’, a bringing together of the body, breath, and mind. Flexibility, strength, and good health are all wonderful benefits. But another wonderful benefit is experiencing togetherness without language getting in the way. On personal and group levels. The point of the MACS’ commuter bus is to strengthen social participation and engagement of MACS culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) socially isolated home care consumers. Having an activity to look forward to and friends to share it with can be a great source of enjoyment.

Talk about putting a twinkle in your eye!

In Mindful Moves sessions there’s no need to feel intimidated or different either. It’s not about becoming afraid of falling and worrying if we hit the floor and that we might never get up. There’s no need to compete with the young, fit grandchildren showing off their headstands or try to copy the yogis in their exotic twists and turns. There are the mass benefits that older persons will get out of it such as improving balance and confidence. Simply put, it’s doable. It’s worth it.

The plain truth is the mind body spirit connection is good for everyone. It keeps us centered and focused, and allows for self-expression.  
We can become more peaceful and relaxed and let go of those things that worry us.

And for older persons, it’s also a matter of exploring new moves in a safe, non-threatening environment. Letting go of expectations when practicing is one thing. Following moves according to ability is another.  For instance, no-one is expected to be so good at Yoga Moves they almost turn themselves into a pretzel. The focus is about feeling good and the benefits that can come from whatever move, whether it’s Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates. These sessions are led by a qualified instructor assisted by Lifestyle staff and trained volunteers.

Whatever benefit is gained from this program such as connecting with the MACS’ community or simply “oiling the joints” of an elderly person there are always big benefits. They include the flowing with grace and promoting sense of purpose factors. For it makes sense that seniors with an idea of purpose in an activity that interests them, will avoid the negative effects of social isolation.

Nathalie Fernbach’s Seniors symposium finds community connections crucial to beating isolation http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-28/jcu-seniors-symposium/8072558 notes that connecting older people with their communities could be the key to alleviating the isolation of older Australians. That was one of the key findings of the Ageing in North Queensland 2016 symposium held in Townsville. James Cook University’s Professor Iain Gordon commented that we can’t just expect Government to reduce isolation. It’s about coming up with our own local solutions that are based on community and connection.

And perhaps when thinking about active ageing, we would need to sit on the “buts” that hinder engagement in programs such as Mindful Moves. Here are a few:

  1. But I’m too old
  2. But I’m too tired
  3. But I can’t get there
  4. But I’m not fit enough
  5. But I might fall
  6. But I don’t know anyone

Perhaps answers to this could be:

  1. Get calm
  2. Get energized
  3. Get healthy
  4. Meet others
  5. Eat out
  6. Put a twinkle in your wrinkle at MACS!

Resources

http://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/chair-yoga-for-seniors
http://www.chopra.com/articles/6-benefits-of-yoga-for-seniors#sm.0001sz5ndl1367f8tsrqj56jkuag
Dana Larsen, 10 Things you can do to Combat Senior Isolation, 2016 http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/6-20-16-things-you-can-do-to-combat-senior-isolation/

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