Media releases

July 15, 2014

Elderly falls set to reduce thanks to Cairns exercise initiative

The Medibank Community Fund (MCF) has awarded a $20,500 community grant to Positive Ageing Cairns Incorporated, a not for profit charitable community organisation in Cairns, Queensland.

The grant will allow 400 men and women over 50 to participate in 'The Steady Steps Falls Prevention Program', a 12 week exercise program that aims to build physical strength and stability and fitness, in order to decrease the prevalence of elderly falls and to prevent the onset of chronic illness.

The program will be available in 18 locations around Cairns, Atherton Tablelands and the Douglas Shire.
Medibank Retail State Manager for QLD, Christopher Staines, said the program embraced the Medibank Community Fund's priorities of promoting healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness -the key selection criteria for the MCF grants program.

"Medibank employees on our Regional Council from across QLD, expressed overwhelming support for Positive Ageing Cairns' application because their program takes a preventative and proactive approach and helps people reaching retirement get active and involved in an inclusive community program that can improve their mental and physical health as they get older", said Mr Staines.

"The Medibank Community Fund grants program supports local, grassroots initiatives that aim to create a lasting and positive impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of people in the community and Positive Ageing Cairns and its 'The Steady Steps Falls Prevention Program' are doing just that".

Positive Ageing Cairns President, John Ehm said the program helps people prepare for and during retirement years.

"Our program encourages and supports all people over 50 to lead richer, healthier and useful lifestyles, particularly when preparing for retirement - which can provide its own unique challenges", said Mr Ehm.

"People can experience social isolation and lose muscle strength as they get older. Our program has been proven to get people out of the house exercising and socialising with peers and preventing the onset of depression that can stem from loneliness and social disconnection."

Positive Ageing Cairns is one of 42 recipients chosen from more than 900 applications across Australia and New Zealand to receive a 2014 Medibank Community Fund grant.

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