Salvina Formosa 101 and going strong

25 Mar 2015

For someone who has reached triple figures, there is no sign of 101-year old Salvina slowing down.

South Wentworthville resident Salvina Formosa who turned 101 on March 16, is taking part in Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD) community-based program called Stepping On.

The program is aimed at increasing strength and balance in older people who have had a fall or are fearful of falling.

Salvina recently fell over after tripping on an uneven footpath, so she started taking part in the program at Southern Cross Care in Merrylands.

“I can now do 20 sit-to-stand exercises,” she said.

“I feel a lot more confident getting up out of a chair, walking on uneven ground and walking to the letterbox.”  

Salvina, who is a trained sewing teacher, has made over 13 wedding dresses, cooks, wakes at 5am daily and still enjoys sewing.

She attributes her longevity and wellness to the Stepping On program, living a life with a kind heart free of jealousy and praying every day.

Nearly 1000 older western Sydney residents have taken part in NSW Health’s strength and balance program, Stepping On, which began in 2012.

The free program runs for seven weeks, two hours a week in a community setting. It incorporates speakers as well as group exercises focusing on improving balance and strength.

WSLHD’s Stepping On coordinator, Shayda Marek said: “We have conducted over 50 programs in western Sydney and we’ve seen an increase in confidence in a participant’s mobility, strength and balance. This has positive effect on in their daily life, mentally and physically.”

An evaluation report of the program showed that 70% of participants improved their performance in balance and strength at the completion of the program. 

More than 83% of participants reported changes in their behaviour since the program, such as doing more exercise at home, wearing safer footwear and reducing hazards in their home environment.

If you’re interested in taking part in the free Stepping On program in western Sydney contact Shayda Marek, Stepping On coordinator on 9840 3603.