New healthy living purpose-built centre at Ballina
A PROGRAM aimed at giving older people better health and more independence has reached a major milestone with the opening of brand new Wellness Centre in Ballina on 15 August.
The centre is the brainchild of Integrated Living a not-for-profit organisation, aimed at providing vital services for older people and their carers across rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.
While there are already five Wellness Centres in rural and regional Australia - Ballina is the first purely purpose-built facility according to Integrated Living's CEO Catherin Daley.
Ms Daley said up until now the centres had been put into their existing facility but more purpose-built facilities were in the works.
Integrated Living has come a long way after first forming in the Muswellbrook area in 1999, it now operates services from the Northern Territory and Northern Queensland right through to Launceston in Tasmania.
"The only places we don't operate are metropolitan Melbourne, Brisbane and Queensland," she said, adding that the Integrated Living aimed helping people outside the major cities to improve their health, have access to the latest facilities
She said Integrated Living was now Asia Pacific's number one specialist health service provider and the new Ballina Centre showcased just what the group could offer.
Research shows that in regional, rural and remote communities, 75 per cent of people aren't getting enough exercise and more than 50 per cent of people have one or more chronic illnesses.
Ms Daley said the focus at Integrated Llving was to provide access to health and wellbeing services to older Australians in these areas and creating the Wellness Centre in Ballina would help to achieve that.
The Wellness Centre at Ballina features a state-of-the-art Wellness Gym and a range of services to help older people live an active and independent life and improve their current situations both on a health and social level.
The services include; exercise and yoga classes, massage therapy, occupational therapy services, allied health treatments, assistive product displays and the 'Staying Healthy Eating Well' meals service.
They have Australia's first set of Moto-Tiles, where users can tap their toes on the flashing tiles to test and improve their coordination and balance.
The Gym features specialist HUR equipment from Finland which is designed to help older people stay active while also supporting people who require exercise as part of rehabilitation.
The new Wellness Centre can be found at Ballina West Shopping Centre (opposite the 'Big Prawn') 1-4/56 at the corner of Quays Drive and River St, Ballina.