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Care village residents celebrate gym reopening

Residents living at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme are defying stereotypes of older people as they celebrate the re-opening of the care village’s specialist gym, which provides personalised one-to-one programmes.

The exercise plans developed by the village’s fitness instructor, Georgina Cliff, working in conjunction with health professionals, are designed to enable customers to maintain mobility, prevent falls and manage a range of health conditions, according to individual assessments.

One apartment tenant pleased to see the reopening of the gym is John Yarwood, 77, who was a regular face at the dementia care specialist’s on-site gym facility prior to the pandemic, using exercise to manage a septicaemia infection, also known as sepsis, or blood poisoning, following a knee operation more than a decade ago.

Although Georgina had continued to support John to exercise outside his apartment, putting in place a special one-to-one programme to maintain the knee’s strength and movement, the fitness fanatic is relieved to be back in the gym and in his element.

He said: ‘It’s great to be back on the exercise bike; I can’t thank Georgina enough for helping me make the best of the situation, I’m over the moon with how things have gone.

‘And my wife has been a trooper throughout all this, though that might be because she gets some peace and quiet when I’m out of our apartment, exercising!’

Maintaining wellbeing through exercise is a key part of Belong’s village proposition, and its villages have a range of specialist equipment to make it easier for older people to exercise for longer and to use exercise in a targeted way to meet their wellbeing needs.

Every household resident has a personalised exercise plan to identify goals and monitor progress. Georgina Cliff said: ‘Exercise really is a key factor in maintaining people’s physical and mental health, whatever their age.

‘It really has been a lifeline for John and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to adapt during Covid and maintain exercise regimes that are vital to people’s health.

‘The results have been incredible and it’s given John and his wife, Chris, the reassurance they can still enjoy a high quality of life.’

Residents returned to the gym on April 12 following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, while other village facilities, including its popular Bistro, are expected to re-open for the use of tenants and residents on June 1.

Photo Credit – Belong Villages

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