Topic: A Trip to Everest, Supporting Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing During COVID-19
Day: Thursday 22 October 2020
Time: 2:10pm-2:30pm AESDT
Moran Health Care Group took early precautionary measures to protect residents and employees from the spread of COVID-19 and by 17th March all Moran Homes were closed to visitors.
Whilst our resident community demonstrated great resilience and were keen for us to tell their families that they were fine, the effects of visitor restrictions were beginning to take their toll.
Even with the use of technology to keep residents and families connected, our teams noticed that residents were flat and restless and there was a noticeable decline in physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
After identifying the problem, the team at Moran Sylvania looked for an innovative way to boost mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of residents. What started as a seed of an idea from the teams providing wellness programs to residents (clinical, physio, lifestyle) quickly gained impetus and morphed into something extraordinary “The Reach the Summit Challenge”.
This was a challenge that everyone, no matter what their ability or disability could be involved in. Participants formed two groups – walkers or support crew and collectively they supported each other to either individually or as a group walk the 8850m from Kathmandu to the Summit of Mount Everest during the months of June and July 2020.
The challenge promoted physical activity, social interaction, creativity, goal setting, teamwork, sharing of new experiences and the making of lasting memories.
Moran Sylvania reached out to the Australian Himalayan society who quickly came onboard as a partner.
Walkers and Support Crew met every Tuesday and Thursday at 11.15am to warm up, discuss walking strategy and then commence the walk followed by a warm down. Some residents became endurance walkers committed to walking the whole distance as individuals, others were keen to lead small groups outside of the main walking days, some were happy to clap and cheer as the walk progressed.
To enrich the experience the wider organisation became involved creating videos and photoshoots of participants dressed up in snow gear Physio and Lifestyle team members became Sherpas and on the day of the final summit – the Grandson of Sir Edmund Hillary recorded a special message of encouragement to everyone who had participated in the challenge.
There were many great physical, mental and emotional success stories but this challenge wasn’t really about reaching the summit, it was about the journey and the fun, fulfilment and sense of achievement that came with every step taken.
Dhanush Srinivas is a Physiotherapist and Allied Health Consultant. Based at Moran Sylvania, Dhan is a leader and mentor in the provision of allied health and wellness services to residents. He provides clinical expertise and manages the delivery of physiotherapy services including physical function and pain management.