Enhancing wellness for seniors | Keyton

Enhancing wellness for seniors

Monday, 18 December 2023

Meet James Massei, the Health and Wellbeing Coordinator behind Ardency Kennedy Place's health programme

The concept of wellbeing is often bestowed a narrow definition. But it is more than just physical health; it integrates a broad spectrum that includes mental health, social connection, emotional balance, and much more.

James Massei, the Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at Ardency Kennedy Place, embraces this comprehensive approach. With a background in health science and fitness, he devotes his talents to crafting innovative wellness initiatives aimed at elevating the quality of life for senior residents. He coordinates diverse wellbeing activities, ranging from meditation to virtual reality travel experiences, and delivers regular health-awareness campaigns that focus on social connectedness, a wide variety of exercise classes, and access to wellness services such as physiotherapy, remedial massage, and podiatry.

We sat down with James to hear more about his background, the diverse programme he is leading at Ardency Kennedy Place, and why health and wellbeing is so important for seniors. 

James and residents in the gym at Ardency Kennedy Place James (right) has a passion for helping others achieve their wellbeing goals

Hi James, can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I have a passion for helping others achieve their own wellbeing goals and particularly within the senior population. I have a background in health science and fitness, and I came across this opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of Keyton residents and it resonated with me. 

What does wellbeing mean to you? 

I believe wellbeing is about having a holistic approach to living an enriched and fulfilling life. This includes the combination of being physically active, having mental clarity and being able to foster social connection with others. 

Why is wellbeing so important? Especially for seniors and elderly people? 

It is important for seniors because it enhances their quality of life, improves social connectedness, and can alleviate symptoms of chronic health conditions and is supported by research. Research suggests that achieving optimal wellbeing for the senior population can lead to an improved quality of life. 

We have just introduced a 12-week challenge for our residents to participate in. Daily exercises have shown to improve strength and balance in seniors, resulting in less falls and a reduction in the fear of falling. Research also indicates that older adults that engage in daily exercise have a stronger correlation with healthy ageing and overall physical and emotional wellbeing.  

Find out more:  Impact of Physical Activity on the Self-Perceived Quality of Life in Non-Frail Older Adults 

Can you tell us a bit more about the programme at AKP that you facilitate? 

The resident wellbeing program at Ardency Kennedy Place consists of a variety of activities i.e. meditation, walking groups, intervillage trivia and virtual reality travel experiences. I also coordinate and facilitate various wellbeing events throughout the year, whilst supporting awareness campaigns such as World mental health day. I work in partnership with the Allied providers at AKP to ensure the classes and services offered are aligned to our program and the needs of our residents. 

The current class offerings include: 

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Pilates
  • Qigong
  • one-on-one exercise
  • group exercise classes. 

The current services available to residents in our wellness centre are physiotherapy, remedial massage, and podiatry. 

In addition to this, I facilitate weekly IT support sessions. This provides an opportunity for residents to bring along their smart device and I share tips and resources to improve digital literacy. Most recently, I have used virtual reality headsets to enable residents to experience travelling around the world virtually. Some of these experiences have included viewing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, through to enjoying a safari experience in Africa. 

Another part of my role is to spend one to one time with residents and assisting them to build their own health and wellbeing goals and finding the most suitable approach to helping them achieve their goals. I do this by providing residents with the right resources or helping them access the right service provider to help them achieve their individual goals. 

A resident enjoying the swimming pool at Ardency Kennedy Place One of the great features of the wellness centre is the brand new indoor swimming pool

How do the residents like the programme?

The residents are engaged and really enjoying the program so far. They are enjoying the opportunities that this program has to offer. They have reinforced how grateful they are to have a wellbeing coordinator on site.

The uptake of activities continues to rise as the weeks unfold and as more residents move into AKP. They appear to be satisfied with the service offering to date. This is constantly being reviewed and modifications will be made as required. I am looking forward to introducing new services and classes in 2024. 

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my day is coming in to work and seeing the residents and having conversations with them. I love learning from them and hearing their stories. Each person living here has a wonderful life story to share, and listening to them is a highlight of why I love this job.  

We recently hosted a wellness day at AKP and a part of that aligned with a wellbeing theme of 'music on my mind'. I organised for a music therapist to attend and run a workshop for the residents and help them understand the therapeutic benefits of music and how it can enhance many pillars of wellbeing. 

One of the activities involved residents singing together, whilst the music therapist played the guitar. It was heartwarming to see and experience that and watching the residents immerse themselves in this experience was wonderful. I could see there was a strong sense of community amongst the residents, with some of them coming out of their shell for the first time. 

What's next in the wellbeing space? 

2024 will be an action-packed year. I am looking forward to further implementation of our program at Ardency Kennedy Place and working with the others within the wider team to ensure our residents are getting the most out of their health and wellbeing journey. 

We will have some motivational guest speakers come and present in 2024, and we will continue to focus on building our intergenerational program with a local school, provide opportunities for residents to enjoy new and immersive cultural experiences and social outings.  

Learn more about Ardency Kennedy Place.

For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550 or send us an email here.

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