It’s the simple things, like lifting a cup of tea or getting out of a chair without any aids that can become difficult in advanced age. However, a resistance band training programme hopes to help older people with these everyday tasks.

The programme, Resisting Age Related Muscle Decline, was created by Australian aged care provider Hall & Prior after staff noticed there was an increasing number of new care recipients who were presenting with low levels of strength, mobility and flexibility in their joints.

The team hoped the resistance band training programme would also provide an opportunity for residents to socialise and exercise with friends.

While the class structure is flexible, residents start with a 10-15 minute warm up, focusing on both the upper and lower body, then use looped bands in a range of motions. This is followed by a cool down.

Hall & Prior said the programme has brought about improvements in residents’ mobility, dexterity and muscle. Residents also noted that the initiative helps to improve mobility and said it makes them feel more independent.

“Without these classes I fear my mobility would decrease,” one resident commented.

Started in 2015 by Hall & Prior’s exercise and mobility coordinator Laura Majewski, Resisting Age Related Muscle Decline runs across five of the providers NSW homes.

“The development of this programme started years ago in response to research based papers that highlighted the ‘Theraband’ as an effective resistance training device for muscle rehabilitation,” Wajewski said.

She said residents at any fitness level are able to engage in the movements.

“The engagement across all homes has been outstanding and this programmw continues to grow.”

The programme recently earned Hall & Prior an Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Better Practice Award.

This article has been adapted from the original article published in Australia’s Aged Care INsite.

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