Exercise is a life-changer

“Exercising can change your life – and I love helping older people become more independent by doing just this.”

That’s the reason why Uniting AgeWell’s Forest Hill AgeWell Centre Exercise Physiologist Anika McWilliams has been in the role for seven years, and has no plans to leave.

“I get great joy in helping older people stay at home for as long as possible. It’s wonderful to literally see them build up strength and confidence over the weeks.”

Anika, who studied a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science at Deakin University and a Masters in Exercise Rehabilitation at Victoria University, says it is important to set small achievable goals for clients.

“And in that way you build them up – they feel a sense of achievement when they attain these goals, and it encourages them to set and achieve the next set of goals.” She enjoys working with older clients and says it’s rewarding to see how much they appreciate help in building up the strength in their bodies.

Anika also enjoys helping clients in the Seniors Gym at the centre, which has health and fitness equipment designed for older people using some equipment with air resistance and also a combination of functional exercises in a hybrid approach tailored to a person’s abilities.

Anika is also grateful that working in aged care affords a good work/life balance. And with two young sons, she certainly needs it!

Paul Warwick, Director, AgeWell Centres (Victoria) says there has been a surge of positive feedback from clients and many wonderful examples proving that AgeWell Centres are making a difference in older people’s lives.

Paul says the AgeWell teams work with customers enabling them to achieve what is important for them to remain independent and living at home. “This is done through a variety of programs and activities that are designed with and for our customers,” says Paul. “Our teams are truly making a difference!”

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