Evergreens go from strength to strength

Evergreens go from strength to strength

A popular programme of exercise, sport and information classes for older people, run by the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen Sports Village, has enjoyed its best ever year.

Established in 1993 by the University of Aberdeen’s Sport & Exercise Team to offer safe and effective exercise opportunities for adults aged 60+, 2015 saw the Evergreen Exercise sessions expand its range of activities and its number of eager participants.

Table tennis, badminton and pickleball (a racket game that combines elements of badmintontennis, and table tennis) programmes have been added to the greater range of exercise classes, and visitor numbers have topped 2,000 a month.

The education seminars in stroke awareness, dementia awareness and fall prevention were also extremely well attended with positive feedback received for all.

Faye Webster, from the University Sport & Exercise Team said: “Following on from two ad-hoc talks we had arranged previously, we wanted to launch a more formal programme of events and make them a regular occurrence. We see it as a great opportunity to provide some free education sessions targeting health, wellbeing and safety to this ever growing user-group.

“ASV usage statistics show 1510 visits to Evergreens/Specialist Population exercise classes, and 488 visits to the Evergreens Sports sessions during the month of October alone. It is great to see so many older adults enjoying regular exercise, and recognising the many benefits it brings.

“Looking ahead to 2016, we would be really interested to hear from any staff members at the University who are involved in areas of work that might be of interest to this Evergreens group, and who may wish to come along and deliver an education session.”

IN DETAIL

September 2015: Stroke Awareness session. Participants learned how common strokes are in the UK, and the implications they can have for individuals and their families. They also completed a series of physical tasks demonstrating how vision, perception and sensation can all be impaired following a stroke, making daily living more challenging.

October 2015: Two Dementia Friends Awareness sessions, donations were collected for Alzheimer Scotland, and 34 Evergreens participants became ‘Dementia Friends’ obtaining their certificate of attendance. The session also allowed many of the participants to share their own experiences of having family members with dementia.

November 2015: Fall-Prevention session, which outlined some facts about the provenance of falls, and the impact they have on individuals and on the health care system.

Risk factors for falling were looked at in depth, with helpful advice given on how to try and reduce these risks. Participants were also shown a practical demonstration of how to effectively and safely stand again following a fall.

Anyone interested in delivering a class or suggesting a topic for 2016 should contact Faye Webster: f.webster@abdn.ac.uk

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