When you hear the upbeat music playing from the garden at Bupa Aged Care Eden, you’d probably assume it was a dance party.
These aren’t youngsters letting lose, but they are certainly young at heart. It’s the aged care home residents enjoying their weekly Zumba class.
Some are able bodied, others are in wheelchairs or have walking frames, but according to the Head of Lifestyle Naomi Turnbull, everyone involved in the Latin inspired dance workout has a ball.
“Every Wednesday we head out to ‘jiggle our wiggles’ as we call it,” says Naomi. “The residents are always smiling, it’s a great outdoor activity.”
“They’re doing it to that song ‘I‘m sexy and I know it’ and it’s so much fun.”
One of the nurses Ann-Marie Edwards, who is also a trained Zumba instructor, started teaching classes every Wednesday on her day off.
Ann-Marie adapted the lessons so anyone can get involved regardless of their mobility or fitness level.
“There is no right and wrong way to do Zumba,” says Ann-Marie. “Most of the residents are in wheel chairs but they’ll move their arms and they’ll tap their feet and they always have a smile on their faces.”
Residents like 90 year-old Peggy Trower look forward to it every week, not only for the exercise but to have a laugh with friends.
“I’m not sure what’s funnier, the staff trying to dance or me,” says Peggy. “I always feel great afterwards.”
89-year-old Mary Jackson loves that she can be involved even though she’s in a wheelchair.
“It’s great that everyone can be included and get together to ‘jiggle our wiggles’ and have a whole lot of fun,” says Mary.
“It inspires other residents who might just sit there to get active,” says Naomi.
The employees love it too and regularly get up and dance.
“It just inspires everyone to have a go and get moving.”