The group, all of them women between 79 and 89 years old from the Dysynni Strength and Balance Class, were accompanied by physiotherapist Clare Horton and Gwynedd Exercise Referral staff, Emma Quaeck and Rachael Roberts. Over the past 12 months the group have been taking part in the specific Strength and Balance Exercise Class at the Bro Dysynni Leisure Centre, Tywyn designed to help prevent falls in the elderly.
The trip marked Age UK’s National Falls Awareness Week 18-22 June, to highlight the serious problem falls can cause for older people. They occur in around 30% of over 65s and 50% of those aged over 80 every year, and as well as the obvious risk of serious injuries, or even death in some cases, a fall can also destroy confidence, increase isolation and reduce independence.
The pensioners were able to develop confidence in getting on and off the local trains as the height of the steps to get on and the gap between the platform had put them off travelling by train. Having practised techniques in the class to be able to do steps & stairs the organised train journey was the opportunity to put those techniques into action.
One of the pensioners, Marian Gould, 84, said:
“What beautiful day we had. We were able to get on the train all right with a bit of care, but it was wonderful that we were able to use the portable ramp to help us get off. I didn’t know that there was a ramp available for us to use at any time, you just had to ask the Arriva Trains staff. I will certainly use it again.”
Emma Quaeck, the Exercise Referral Coordinator said:
“We had 15 participants taking part in the class, ranging from 79-89 years old and we have seen a marked improvement physically over the course of the year.
“But more importantly we have had very encouraging feedback about how the improvements have had a positive impact on their daily lives. They’ve become much more confident in doing daily activities and I know most of them have felt the benefit and are continuing to exercise every week.”
For further information please contact Emma on 01766 512711 / 07768 988095.