Wellington’s Age Concern - 'Steady As You Go' programme, receives support

Steady As You Go Coordinator Ann Dalziel (left) with Mavis
Photo Credit Age Concern
“People don’t realise that having that time every week to have a chat while exercising is as important as the exercise. And everyone can do these exercises!”
Margaret, who at 101 years old still attends her local class. Margaret at home -Photo Credit Age Concern
“We’re so pleased to have the support of NZCT in this important mahi. Falls are a very serious problem for older people and this programme is making a real difference.”
Stephen Opie, CEO Age Concern, Wellington Region.

NZCT has awarded Wellington’s Age Concern $7,350 to help pay the salary of Ann Dalziel, their Steady As You Go Falls Prevention Coordinator.

CEO Stephen Opie says "Steady As You Go is a gentle exercise programme specifically designed to help reduce falls, and increase strength, balance, and confidence for seniors, especially in walking."

There are currently over 625 seniors attending 35 Steady As You Go classes across the Wellington Region every week, including a live-streamed class. The programme is managed by a Coordinator who establishes each class, recruits and trains peer leaders, and then provides support and oversight of each peer-led class.

Our aim is to have each class community-led by volunteers. This is one of our four core programmes and is making a huge difference in the lives of seniors. This evidence-based programme has been designed by Otago University researchers and Otago Age Concern. We deliver this programme across the Region in various locations including Community Centres and halls, and other event facilities.

Once established, the classes are run by trained volunteers like Mavis. Mavis has a gift for finding opportunities to link people. When she read about an Age Concern falls prevention exercise class in a local newsletter, she invited a visually-impaired friend along and the two became regular class attendees. Mavis eventually led the class and through word-of-mouth, contributed to making it thrive.

Age Concern’s exercise classes and the monthly community hubs for seniors help give a rhythm to Mavis’ life and she uses these opportunities to invite others who would benefit from the services provided to join her.

“We look out for each other,” Mavis says about the exercise group. “It just seems normal to make sure the others are all right.”