Iain and Gordon MacLeod

ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway was put through his paces alongside some seriously fit senior citizens at Ryman Healthcare’s Julia Wallace retirement village in Palmerston North.

The minister joined Ryman Healthcare CEO Gordon MacLeod and around 30 village residents – some aged in their 90s – for a Triple-A exercise class.

Mr Lees-Galloway was promoting ACC’s ‘Live Stronger for Longer’ programme, for which Ryman’s Triple-A classes have recently received formal accreditation.

The programme was created to prevent falls and fractures in over 65s. It includes strength and balance classes across New Zealand, and online resources.

“It was a huge amount of fun,” Mr Lees-Galloway said. “It was really enjoyable just being part of the group and it was clear how much the village residents enjoy spending time together as much as they do exercising.

“It’s obviously having a really positive effect because there are some very fit people living here.”

Ryman’s Triple-A (Ageless, Active, Aware) classes have been running for 11 years, Mr MacLeod said.

“It started off small, but we now offer 765 classes a week across all our villages. That’s literally thousands of residents taking part and enjoying the benefits of a more active lifestyle every day.”

Ryman’s activities and lifestyle coordinator Chelsea Richdale, who also took part in today’s class, played the lead role in getting the Triple-A programme ACC accredited.

“For a long time, we have known that the programme was a success, but by becoming accredited with the ACC this further proves it,” she said.

“We often receive questions from residents and relatives asking how we know Triple-A is improving our residents’ mobility and health. By being associated with the ACC we can now say that the ACC approves what we do.”

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