Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Seniors Celebrate Milestone; 60 and Better Relocates

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Seniors Celebrate Milestone; 60 and Better Relocates

Article excerpt

Byline: Zhanae Conway-Dodd zhanae.conway-dodd@capnews.com.au

ANITA Griffiths was a nurse managing a medical supply shop when she found her calling.

The manager of the 60 and Better program, who has been on board for 20 years, landed the gig when a member who used to stop in and chat at her medical supply shop told her the position was available.

"My background was nursing and the lovely lady that managed the program before me used to drop into my small business, have a chat and give me the news- letters," Ms Griffiths said.

"She was very sad because her husband got a transfer so they had to move so she asked me to apply, which I did, and there you are, 20 years later and I'm still here."

The program has reached a milestone with 60 and Better moving into a bigger facility last month.

Funded by the Depart- ment of Communities, the program, based in a Quay St building in Rockhampton, offers healthy aging exercise and social activities to reduce social isolation for seniors.

"Companionship is a big thing, because people out there for lots of reasons become isolated and need to be involved in something with like-minded people to improve their health and well-being," Ms Griffiths said.

The program was initially funded by the Queensland Government to look after seniors but as time changed and governments changed, so did the funding source.

"We are now under the Department of Communities and the department still has the same mission involved, reducing social isolation for seniors," Ms Griffiths said.

"I love being involved with older people, empowering them to enjoy their lives and it's just in my nature to care about them, want their opinions, want to know that they are socially connected.

"If you go into social isolation and get involve- ment with grief the amount of health-related issues that come from that are incredible. …

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