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Marcia makes progress with her health through online services

Marcia Ross

From head to toe, Marcia Ross is trying hard to look after her health as she gets older.

She says the tailored online exercise program she has joined with Southern Cross Care has been key to her routine.

Marcia lives in Nairne, SA, and has several auto-immune health conditions which have recently become worse and are affecting her strength and mobility.

A friend from Moonta mentioned she was participating in the Better for life in Country SA online exercise program supported by the Country SA Primary Health Network, and it wasn’t long before Marcia was stretching and exercising alongside the rest.

The program begins with a one-on-one assessment, which is crucial to setting up an exercise program that has the best outcomes for each of the participants.

For Marcia, the tailored approach means she can do exercises that push her body to strengthen her muscles and bones, but don’t go too far and cause her injury.

“Through the Health & Wellness services I started off with the exercise program and really enjoyed it, then Julie [an Accredited Exercise Physiologist] mentioned there were other services I could access,” she said.

“What Julie has been doing for me through this muscle weakness which has become increasingly worse is to monitor my exercises. So to be looked after in the way I have been in my home is just breathtaking.

“I find myself not wanting to be a burden to the children, wanting to live independently but struggling a bit and I have this care team who are looking after me.”

The hydrotherapy classes at Carmelite were something Marcia was particularly interested in as she has a background in swimming competitively and coaching.

Although Marcia sees many benefits in doing online exercise classes at home, the in-person hydrotherapy classes give her a different kind of support.

“The thing that I think is really relevant is that going face to face, especially in the pool, and seeing the people waiting, they’re all my age…and they’ve got incredible challenges…there we are with all of our obvious disabilities and yet when we get in the water we’re young again, the water does wonderful things for your self esteem,” she said.

“I’ve come to really appreciate that contact.”

To help Marcia manage her home and garden, as well as subsidise her portable emergency oxygen, she has funding through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

The Government funding allows her to have fortnightly floor cleans, her windows cleaned and the garden tidied up once a year.

She also has some equipment to make her house more accessible, such as a grab rail on her bed.

But the Health & Wellness team could tell the CHSP support was not enough to cover Marcia’s needs and went above and beyond their normal roles to ensure she received another assessment, resulting in a higher level of funding.

“I wouldn’t have the comfort that I’ve got in my home now if I hadn’t had the help of Southern Cross Care to escalate that and then follow through,” Marcia said.

The Better for life in Country SA program is just the beginning of a journey towards better Health & Wellness.

For more information visit our Online Services page.