Who says you’re too old to be active!
When it comes to thinking about ‘active fun’ we think of spritely youngsters, nimble and agile, frolicking and dashing without a care in the world. But active is a relative word. As indeed is fun.
One thing that is both inspiring and remarkable that we see at Access Homehealth is how people define active fun. Some of our most active staff are actually in their senior years and for them working is still fun. And it’s the very act of remaining active that keeps these inspiring seniors able to continue doing what they do.
Hamilton support worker Marcia recently turned 87. Not only does Marcia still remain an active employee but Marcia is also an athlete. We’ll give you a moment to digest that (because quite frankly we think it’s pretty amazing!). Marcia is a mainstay on the Waikato athletics scene and only last year attended a world athletics championship event in France.
Marcie works over 20 hours caring for one of our long-term ACC clients and fits her training regime around her work. She has only missed a couple of major competitions since the 1960’s, even powering on despite open heart surgery, a knee replacement and a shattered wrist. Marcie was told by the surgeon she would no longer be able to run following her knee replacement – that was back in 2007 and she was still competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m plus hammer throw and weight throw in 2015. Nothing has stopped her enjoying her active fun!
But Marcie is one of many Access support workers who continue to enjoy an active life well into their supposed retirement years. Northland support worker, Rongo, still works a full week, often providing relief for her colleagues, at the grand age of 81. Having joined Access at a sprightly age of 69 in 2003, Rongo remains an inspiration, working day and night shifts 3-4 days every week. ‘I couldn’t have enjoyed turning eighty as much were it not for being able to continue working with Access,’ she says. ‘It keeps me active.’
‘I always say to people “don’t grow old before you are old”. Age can be as much about how you think as how you feel.’ When asked if she’ll ever give up her work she says, ‘Hopefully not. My body will tell me when to finish.’ She says her family are glad she still works. They see the benefits it brings to her sense of personal achievement and wellbeing.
So when you think of how you can keep an active and fun lifestyle when you reach the more advanced years, don’t think bowls and gentle ambles along the waterfront (though of course that’s still great)… instead start young, keep it up and maybe you too can enjoy an active and healthy life well into your 80s. Keeping active can, after all, help you to continue keeping active, and that’s the advice straight from those who know it.