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Cardiac patients rise up for rehab

Tuesday, 09 April 2019

A NEW cardiac rehabilitation program at the Sunrise Centre is offering exercise physiotherapy to clients recovering from angina, heart attack, cardiac stenting, cardiac bypass or valve surgery.

Education sessions are designed to aid recovery and promote lifestyle changes to prevent future events, with a multidisciplinary approach that includes pharmacy, dietetics, social work, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and nursing.

Located at Kardinia Park, the Sunrise Centre is a satellite facility operated by the McKellar Centre. The cardiac program is the first to regularly run at the Sunrise Centre, after moving from the Salvation Army Hall in Geelong.

The contemporary, flexible and evidence-based service is run by a core team of an exercise physiologist, a rehabilitation physician, and a cardiac trained registered nurse.

Exercise physiologist Janelle Droomer said each workout was based on the client’s physical ability and adjusted after each session.

“It's an individualised program that gets reviewed every week according to clients’ feedback, so it adjusts to their exertion levels as we help challenge them to get them back to the exercise they were doing before their heart event,” she said.

“I love working directly with people and seeing their improvements over the eight-week program.

“Some people make huge lifestyle changes as a result of their heart event and the education they receive through the program.

“That's really rewarding to know you've helped promote health and seen that improvement.”

Since the program began in mid-2018, there have been 170 people referred and uptake of the program is more than 80 per cent, with an average client age of 61 and completion rate of 90 per cent, helping prevent future cardiac events.

Physical, mental, medical and social assessments precede a rehabilitation plan, in collaboration with the client’s GP. After the assessments, clients are enrolled in the eight-week rolling program to facilitate their recovery, including a weekly individualised, graded exercise program and an education session.

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