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Free health and wellbeing sessions help Sunshine Coast seniors stay active and independent

TR RL BH&A Dr Cyarto group exercises.jpg

Sunshine Coast seniors are getting healthy and active with the commencement of a new wellbeing program at Bolton Clarke’s Tantula Rise retirement village in Alexandra Headlands.

International researcher, exercise physiologist and gerontologist Dr Liz Cyarto led the first Be Healthy and Active session this month for Tantula Rise residents and the broader community.

The session, focused on falls prevention, included practical support, tips and simple exercises to help seniors stay active and reduce falls risk. It is one of a series of community information sessions in the popular program which is rolling out on the Coast through 2021.

A second session on skin health will follow on 18 February. Sessions are free and are open to all seniors and their families.

Frankie Leembruggen, who attended on behalf of her family, said the information was helpful and practical.

“I enjoyed it thoroughly,” she said. “I came along to get some insights to help my parents.”

Tantula Rise village resident John Ross said he too found the session very informative.

“It was very good, everything was aimed directly at the subject,” he said.

Dr Cyarto is a Senior Research Fellow at the Bolton Clarke Research Institute. Her work has helped support older people to stay healthy and active in countries around the world.

More than 22,000 people across Australia have attended more than 700 Be Healthy and Active sessions since the program started. Additional topics covered include nutrition, CPR and defibrillation, bladder health, positive ageing, mindfulness and managing sleep and fatigue.

Be Healthy and Active sessions are presented in person at community venues and group meetings across the country with support from sponsors including Hearing Australia, Maggie Beer Foundation, Tena, Independence Australia, Nestle Health Science, Cromwell Property Foundation and Jemena.

Dr Cyarto said she was excited to bring the program to the Sunshine Coast.

“All the sessions cover important health topics to help people understand the importance of staying healthy as we age,” she said.

“They are tailor made for older people to give them practical ideas and information that address the areas that are important to them.

“And the great thing is they are free thanks to the support of our sponsors.”

During 2020 the program was also expanded online with the production of five 10-minute condensed health and wellbeing videos, while more than 60 live online sessions have also been delivered, providing an interactive forum that brings expert facilitators together with older people.

A comprehensive range of downloadable resources is available to support the sessions including PDF information sheets, recipes and an activity planner.

The upcoming Skin Health session will be held at Tantula Rise, 96 Tantula Rd West, Alexandra Headland on Thursday 18 February 11am.

To book a place phone Village Manager Kerrianne Leembruggen on 0407 180 726 or email