Stay on Your Feet helps elderly with balance using tai chi

Monika Wong (WA Chief Instructor Australian Academy of Tai Chi) helps seniors with arthritis regain some balance and strength.
Monika Wong (WA Chief Instructor Australian Academy of Tai Chi) helps seniors with arthritis regain some balance and strength.

SENIORS gather at the Rod Evans Community Centre every Thursday to explore the benefits of tai chi for the elderly.

Ned Martino, who turns 87 next month, travels to the East Perth Centre from Innaloo each week.

Mr Martino said tai chi had improved his balance.

“I am one who is always on the go – I like to walk or run. I thought tai chi was too slow for me. But then I needed help with my balance,” he said.

“It’s marvellous! Tai chi has been beneficial for my balance, most importantly, but it’s also great for relaxation.”

The sessions are run by Stay On Your Feet, an organisation that will be holding tai chi for arthritis sessions later this month.

Stay On Your Feet hopes that fitness instructors, nurses, health practitioners and therapy assistants will attend the two-day instructor workshop from June 25-26 at the Notre Dame University Student Recreation Hall in Fremantle.

Arthritis & Osteoporosis WA Community Project coordinator Mel Browne said she was delighted to hear there was momentum for Tai Chi for Arthritis training.

“Tai Chi for Arthritis is gentle exercise program which can be done in the comfort of your home or in a group session,” said Ms Browne.

Tai Chi for Arthritis works to prevent falls by improving balance, confidence and muscular strength in older adults.

Juliana Summers, the Injury Control Council of WA’s falls prevention coordinator, said “Due to the popularity of strength and balance activities and the relevance of preventing falls, we want to encourage more Perth residents with an interest in delivering tai chi to get involved”.

For tai chi instructor training registrations and for strength and balance information, call 1300 30 35 40 or visit stayonyourfeet.com.au. Registrations close mid June.