Uniting AgeWell was commended for its different approach to ageing at the launches of its two new state-of-the-art gyms on Wednesday, 8 November.
A local MP, councillors and referrers praised the organisation for establishing the Helsinki University Research (HUR) Gyms at Uniting AgeWell’s Allied Health and Therapy Centre, Noble Park and the Oakleigh Community Hub.
Guests at the launches were shown how the HUR Gyms’ smart card system automatically sets the correct resistance and supports users through their workouts.
They also had the opportunity to try the air-resistant equipment, which reduces stress on joints and connective tissues, ensuring better outcomes and reduced risk of injury for seniors.
Member for South-Eastern Metropolitan Region, Nina Springle, said at the Noble Park launch the fully supervised and supported gym would remove barriers to exercise for a lot of people.
“It looks incredible and it is so user-friendly,” she said.
City of Greater Dandenong Councillor Tim Dark, who also attended the Noble Park launch, commended Uniting AgeWell for spearheading the HUR Gym establishment.
“It’s really exciting the gym is open, not just for the residents, but for the community,” he said.
“There is a need for something like this. It’s not a cheap thing to initiate, so I applaud Uniting AgeWell for establishing the HUR Gym to service the whole community.”
The HUR Gym was first introduced at Uniting AgeWell’s Forest Hill Allied Health and Therapy Centre in 2015 and more than 350 people now use the gym each week. The HUR Gyms at Noble Park and Oakleigh are expected to attract similar results.
Uniting AgeWell CEO Andrew Kinnersly said the not-for-profit organisation aimed to take a different approach to ageing and break down the stereotypes often attached to older people.
“We see ageing as a positive stage of life where people are connected and active, and lead meaningful lives,” he said.
“It’s about ensuring everyone, no matter their age, can live and age well in the way that they want.”
Attending the Oakleigh Community Hub launch, City of Monash Councillor Paul Klisaris said the local community had previously been “crying out for services that met their needs”.
“They are gyms that are age appropriate,” he said. ”This gym is an example of just that – a space where people can come and keep themselves fit and active.
“Facilities like this bring people together, and that is priceless.”
Along with the HUR Gym, the Oakleigh Community Hub provides information on a variety of aged care services, including allied health and therapy services, social support, respite and carer support, help at home and residential aged care.
Regional Assessment Coordinator at Bayside City Council, Katherine Johnson, came to the Community Hub launch because she was curious about the unique service model.
“For us assessing clients, it’s all about knowing what’s available, so we can refer people that are appropriate for the service,” she said.
“The Oakleigh Community Hub is what people are looking for. Usually, all of these services would be separate, but having it all together makes it easier for them.”
For more information about the HUR Gym call Uniting AgeWell’s Oakleigh Community Hub on T: 9568 0466 or Noble Park Allied Health and Therapy Centre on T: 9554 0700.