Here’s a simple truth: as we get older, the everyday things we used to be able to do with ease sometimes get a little harder.
Sometimes they get a lot harder.
Shopping, cleaning the house, gardening. Visiting friends. Picking up your grandkids.
“For people that want to be as independent as possible, it can be difficult to know what to do when these things become a challenge,” said Kaitlyn Alfieri. “That’s where I can help.”
Kaitlyn is an Exercise Physiologist that has recently moved to the area and joined the team at Orbost Regional Health.
An Exercise Physiologist uses exercise and education to help prevent or manage chronic health conditions.
“My goal is to help people remain independent and active for as long as possible,” Kaitlyn said.
Although she works with clients of all ages (“I absolutely love working with kids”), Kaitlyn said here in Orbost, an aging community, many of the people she sees are finding it difficult to remain mobile and independent.
“It might be someone who is a bit wobbly on their feet, or is feeling unsteady in the community,” she said. “Often they might have had a fall, or dropped something on the ground and have been unable to pick it up.
“What I do is listen to the client, have them tell me the day-to-day things that are important to them, the tasks they want to be able to do. And then we design some simple exercises and strategies to help them be able to do those things.”
Kaitlyn, who has a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science, and a Masters of Clinical Exercise Science and Rehabilitation, said the causes and impacts of people losing mobility and independence were about much more than just physical health.
“Many of the clients I meet are lonely,” she said. “Because they’re unsteady or finding it difficult to get around, they’ve become isolated, and disconnected from their supports in the community. And that’s a real concern.
“So I will usually ask if they’re interested in a group exercise session here at our gym, for that social connection and sense of community as much as anything else.”
Kaitlyn also does home visits for people unable to get to the health service.
Kaitlyn points out there are a wide range of support services at ORH available to local people that need a little help staying independent and active, not just exercise and rehabilitation services in the Allied Health team but also social support services and home-based care, which includes things like personal and home maintenance services, and regular social outings.
“There’s a lot of ways we can help,” she said. “Ever since I was a little kid, volunteering for the Salvos with my parents, I’ve always wanted to do something with my life that helped people. Now I’m doing that, and I’m so thankful.”
To ask about Kaitlyn’s Exercise Physiology service at ORH, or any of the other ways ORH might be able to support you, call 5154 6623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.