Barb Aylward has been coming to Recope for the past three years. Deep water exercise has helped her regain movement and strength in her legs. At right is Bernie Wright of Recope.

Barb Aylward has been coming to Recope for the past three years. Deep water exercise has helped her regain movement and strength in her legs. At right is Bernie Wright of Recope.

Recope program a homegrown success

Recope – helping members of our community regain their lives and improve quality of life.

Recope – helping members of our community regain their lives and improve quality of life.

“I wouldn’t be walking without this program,” discloses Joan Guldner.

Guldner has been using the support of Recope for more than 20 years.

Initially after a fall left her in a wheelchair she started in the pool with a volunteer and then switched to the land class. She credits Recope with getting her out of her wheelchair and then helping maintain her ability to walk.

Another fall three years ago left her with a broken back and pelvis.

She got back to Recope as soon as she was discharged from the hospital.

“They’re putting me back together. I believe in it. It’s social and I have good friends here,” shares Guldner.

In 1976, a Doctor, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and Nurses felt an aquatic rehabilitation program would be good for a number of their patients who had impaired mobility due to serious accidents.

Now in its 40th year, there are upwards of 50 people at a time in the pool program and 15 people in the land exercise class.

Recope has approximately 150 active members.

A team of two registered nurses, an occupational therapist and specialized fitness instructors provide medically designed and supervised therapeutic land and pool exercise programs. In addition to the experienced staff, support staff and volunteers provide a hand and encouragement that builds confidence.

Jean Munro, Recope’s Program Manager and Occupational Therapist, who is at the helm of the program explains, “Doctors make a referral to Recope and then an initial assessment is completed by the Recope nurse and occupational therapist. This ensures that a person’s current medical and physical condition are taken into consideration so that appropriate exercise recommendations can be made.”

Recope participants range from young adults who have been injured to seniors that are feeling the effects of years of gravity and hard work. Persistent pain, disease, joint or back surgery or just too many years since you last worked out can make it difficult to start and keep exercising without help.

Exercising in the pool adds the advantage of eliminating gravity and off weighting joints so they can move more easily through a greater range. More movement leads to more strength, decreased pain and improved joint stability which makes life back on land easier.

Barb Aylward has been coming to Recope for three years.

When she started she had severe joint pain and was taking a lot of medications.

Deep water exercise helped her regain movement, strength in her legs and lose over 30 pounds. “Support and encouragement from other Recope members helped me to carry on when I felt like quitting and accomplish far more than I imagined possible.”

Feeling healthier drastically decreased her dependence on arthritic, diabetic and cardiac medication. “I could not walk 1 block without stopping twice along the way due to arthritic pain. Now I walk four kilometres to the Aquatic Centre, do my Recope exercise classes and walk four kilometres home.”

Recope’s tagline — “move better, feel better, live better” — is exactly what is happening for this member.

Recope is a non-profit society, partially funded by Interior Health and donations. Participants pay a $20 fee on their first visit which covers the $5 annual membership fee, intake assessment and first class. Classes are $5 per session attended.

For more information call 250-494-9006 or ask your doctor to fax a Recope referral to 250-494-9006. Come see Recope in action at the Aquatic Centre Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m to noon.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.


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