The Abbeyfield Society Marion Inc

Health & Wellbeing Project – Sports Equipment
Originally established in 1990 Abbeyfield Marion provided supported independent living for 10 elderly persons who could no longer afford to rent in South Australia. The elderly residents moved out in 2009 and a disability house was established to accommodate young adults with mild intellectual disabilities.

Abbeyfield Marion is part of Abbeyfield Australia who are the peak national body representing and supporting 22 local Abbeyfield societies. An Abbeyfield House is a group house in which residents live independently within a shared supportive environment. An Abbeyfield House is a large house but it is not an institution or a facility. It is just an ordinary house in an ordinary street. The residents ‘come and go’ as they please, socialise with other residents as much as desired.

The Management Committee places a high priority on health and well-being and are concerned about the obesity and mental health issues of their residents. Community Living Options carers have been getting residents involved in outdoor activities in the house garden and taking residents to local parks. Residents and Carers have recently requested sporting equipment to enhance their activity options.

There is no debating the health benefits of physical exercise and outdoor activities, especially for people with disabilities. Physical outdoor activities have many benefits including: improving mood, reducing stress, improving sleep and much more. Down Syndrome residents have the additional need for extra physical activity as they age. The Health and Wellbeing Project aims to provide sporting equipment for the residents to use in the garden and in local parks and, with the encouragement and participation of the carers from Community Living Options, to get them outdoors and being physically active.

UCF received an application for $1,500 to purchase sporting equipment for outdoor activities in the garden and in local parks. The residents had requested sporting equipment and have been consulted as to what they would like. A variety of equipment choices have been made to accommodate their interests and their abilities so all can participate and a list was provided to UCF.

Benefits of the Health & Wellbeing Project include:

  • The residents would be able to participate in a wider range of physical exercise to improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Parent’s concern and anxiety regarding health, wellbeing and obesity would be reduced.
  • Carers involvement with residents would be enhanced.
  • The wider community would benefit through witnessing our resident having fun and engaging in physical activity in the park and maybe joining in.

UCF directors were pleased to approve a small grant of $1,500 to enable Abbeyfield Marion residents to pursue their chosen outdoor activities.

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