From touching her toes, to jogging on the spot every morning, at 98 years-old, Yvette Hervo, is a champion for seniors. “The first thing I do each morning, before I get out of bed, is my gymnastics,” Ms Hervo said.
With age comes wisdom and Yvette is proof that getting old doesn’t mean one needs to give up on their active lifestyle. “I tell my friends all the time, they should do a bit of gymnastics every day, even if it’s not much, every little bit helps,” Ms Hervo said. “I couldn’t imagine waking up each day and not doing it (gymnastics), there’s something inside me which pushes me to do it, more so than anything else.”
Throughout October, Queensland will celebrate Seniors Month, with a focus on Social Connections and while Yvette still manages to keep her body active, she isn’t as steady on her feet as she once was.
For more than seven years now, Yvette has relied on Suncare Community Services to help her with chores around the house and remain social with her community.
“Keeping active in your community has proven to keep you healthier and mentally happier as well,” Suncare Coordinator Madeleine Gardiner said.
“It’s really, really nice to see someone who is so healthy and happy and she attributes a lot of that to the exercises that she does.”
One in five older Australians feel lonely, especially those aged 75 and over (1), but Suncare is determined to change that through programs which reconnect people back into their community.
“One of the services we offer is transport, which allows our clients to have access to reliable transport at a really low cost, to get out to appointments, to do their shopping or to just catch up with friends,” Ms Gardiner said.
A close friend of Yvette’s, Jennie Williams, makes a trip to Yvette’s house every week and said the companionship she provides her with is invaluable.
“Yvette lost her husband many years ago and never had any children so for her, Suncare and myself are like family,” Ms Williams said.
Suncare Community Services currently helps more than 1,500 participants across Sunshine Coast, but also provides services from the Gold Coast to Rockhampton.