SA providers recognised at Every Generation Awards

A walking program for people with dementia and a series of intergenerational links with a school were among the winners.

South Australian aged care providers have been recognised in COTA’s 2010 Every Generation Positive Ageing Awards.

ACH Group’s Walk for Life program won the ‘Physical Activity Award’ at the awards ceremony, held at Adelaide’s Intercontinental Hotel.

Through the program, four walking groups were established in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Each group ran over eight weeks and was made up of 20 walkers with dementia who were assisted by 15 volunteers.

ACH Group worked in collaboration with the City of Salisbury, the University of South Australia and the Italian Benevolent Foundation on the project, which was funded by a grant from the Department of Health and Ageing.

The group’s Dementia Services Strategy Manager, Lenore de la Perrelle said the project provided significant physical, social and emotional benefits for people with dementia.

“ACH Group developed walking groups because of the proven benefits of physical activity for people with dementia,” she said.

“Physical and social activities can be crucial to maintaining cognitive abilities, general wellbeing and creating a sense of achievement.”

A range of volunteers, peer support co-leaders and buddies – including some in the early stages of dementia – were recruited and trained to support the walking groups.

Three group members with dementia were given the opportunity to be co-leaders of each group, allowing them to perform a meaningful voluntary role.

“These leadership opportunities were a key feature of Walk for Life and differentiated it from other exercise programs,” said Ms de la Perrelle.

A Personal Achievement Award was also given to ACH Group resident, Pat Stephens, for her participation in a local exercise group at the Yankalilla Centre.

Resthaven’s Marion facility was also recognised at the statewide award ceremony, taking out the ‘For Young and Old’ award for its wide-ranging intergenerational connections with the nearby Westminster School.

Residents at the facility have been involved in a series of programs with students from the school including a computer weekly tuition group, an annual indoor bowls challenge, games afternoons and a combined church service.

A Resthaven Marion resident, Brian Bowley, is also helping design a garden area at the school for students and staff to enjoy.

Tags: ach-group, awards, cota, positive ageing, resthaven, south-australia,

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