Christmas play helps promote mobility at Calvary Cessnock Retirement Community

The positive impact that movement and music can have on health, wellbeing and mobility in elderly people was on show at Calvary Cessnock Retirement Community on Thursday 14 December.


Residents, staff and volunteers performed their annual Christmas play, which forms part of an exercise program that incorporates movement and music.


The initiative was developed by physio-aide Karen Barry to contribute to the physiotherapy of residents. The program encourages residents to maintain their physical capabilities in a fun and enjoyable way.


This year’s play – titled “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” was directed by Calvary volunteer Lesley Pink. More than 40 residents and staff were involved in all aspects of the concert, from the design of costumes, assisting to make props, compiling and editing the music, setting up of the back drop and of course,the many hours of practice. It incorporated many extravagant, upcycled costumes (including reindeer, mistletoe and a Christmas pudding) and props styled to different Christmas tunes.


Calvary Cessnock volunteer coordinator Therese Fitzgibbon said the allows residents to focus on abilities rather than limitations. “It provides the perfect opportunity to let the spirit of Christmas shine,” she said.


General manager Kristin Smith said the production’s success is a great testament to the hard work of Karen, Therese and Lesley. “Not only has the play helped residents with their mobility and general health but has also helped create a real sense of family and community as we approach Christmas,” she said.


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