Two years ago, Mr Kevin Rawlins almost died.
‘My wife had passed away in 2016, I was all alone,’ he says. ‘Then I had a massive heart attack, and ended up in the hospital for four months.’
‘I could barely move, let alone walk,’ he says. ‘I didn’t want to face another day.’
After four months and multiple operations, Kevin was discharged from hospital. His physical health improved, but his mental health was in tatters.
‘There were days that I didn’t want to get out of bed,’ he says.
‘No one can know what it’s like unless they go through it themselves.’
This all changed when Kevin joined the local wellness and social group for older people, run by Resthaven Western Community Services at 96 Woodville Road, Woodville.
‘Knowing that you have this [group] on, it gets you moving, gets you mobile,’ he explains.
‘Now I come three times a week, and we do Tai Chi, yoga, or pilates, then have a coffee and some afternoon tea.’
‘Someone from Resthaven comes and picks me up from my house around the corner and brings me here for class.’
‘June [Home Support Worker and group facilitator] is just fantastic – now I can get up out of my chair, I couldn’t do that before.’
‘I don’t even use a stick to walk inside anymore – I only use my walker if I’m going long distances.’
‘Friday’s group is Tai Chi movements, and about a quarter of an hour of meditation.’
‘I love the meditation, it just seems to drain all your problems away; it uplifts you.’
‘Deb [Home Support Worker], she’s a wizard, she comes up with all different ideas with card games to test your memory.’
‘It’s a wonderful group.’
Resthaven Western Community Services runs social and wellness groups for older people who live independently in their own homes, five days a week. Group sessions incorporate chair-based exercises, arts and craft, afternoon tea, and bus trips. To find out more, phone 8345 0577 and ask about Social Groups.