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February 03, 2011

‘Oldies’ walk the walk

Grey army: Thirty-one Moyneyana House Residents began ‘walking to Hamilton’ on Tuesday in a bid to increase their physical activity.

About 30 aged care residents from Port Fairy’s Moyneyana House walked to Hamilton this week – well sort of. The ‘Moyneyana Movers’ are a newly formed group who are collectively measuring the distance its members walk each day with the aim to reach a common destination.

The group launched on Tuesday and with the support of a few walking frames hope to clock up the 85 kilometres needed to reach Hamilton within a week.

Each time the group records enough kilometres to reach a new destination Moyneyana House staff throw a destination themed party.

With 11 of Moyneyana House’s 44 residents hailing from Hamilton or surrounding areas like Dunkeld and Coleraine the group decided Hamilton was a good choice for the first town to ‘visit’.

At the time of print the group had so far logged 45 kilometres and expect to reach Hamilton sometime this weekend.

The Moyneyana Movers will also celebrate their achievement with a day trip to the Hamilton Botanical Gardens.

Moyne Health Services physiotherapist Robbie Webb said the idea for the Moyneyana Movers arose when staff were thinking of ways to encourage more activity and independence among the residents.

“We thought if they were walking with an incentive, well maybe they would be more interesting in doing it,” he said.

“We measured the distance from each room to the dining room … and around the block and to the (Caltex) Roadhouse too.”

Other routes residents regularly travel were also measured so that when they make a trip a staff member can stamp the distance on a ‘passport’ each member was given at the launch.

So far 31 of Moyneyana’s 44 residents have signed up to the group which has pleased Moyneyana Health Services active services project worker, Fiona Hellier, who said one of the biggest challenges was now going to be deciding how to bring the program to an end.

“I couldn’t believe the response and the enthusiasm has been amazing,” she said.

“The residents are really whipping themselves into a frenzy, I don’t know how we are going to stop it, maybe we’ll do a trip around Tasmania next.”

Mrs Hellier joked that some residents had even completed a “pre-season” before the launch and had started walking extra laps around the facility.

Source: Hamilton Spectator February 1st 2011
Story By: Mark Lee
Photo: Hamilton Spectator

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