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Finding this community is the best thing I ever did. The key is perseverance. Even if I don’t feel like going to the gym I go three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Gradually I became more able. Now we’re walking all around the perimeter of the village! It's absolutely lovely!


New Oscott Village

Betty spent the last two years having to use a scooter due to balance issues but after six months in New Oscott’s gym under the supervision of fitness instructor Jackie she’s walking again! Here she tells us about life at New Oscott and how she refound her balance.

I moved to New Oscott Village when I was 82, I had problems where I lived previously so my daughter in law called up New Oscott village and they found a place for me.

I was just 38 when I lost my partner and now I’m 85, through that loss I’ve learned a lot over the years. I’ve always been independent and sociable, I even ran a club for divorcees called The Divorce Club! A retirement village was a new concept for me when I moved in, but I wouldn’t like to be anywhere else now, everyone has got to know me.

They’ve got me into everything here alongside my fitness regime I write poems which I submit to the New Oscott Village magazine and I’m involved in line dancing and keep fit. I’m even doing an Easter bonnet hat show in a few weeks!

I have used a scooter for two years and used it originally because I had vertigo. When I moved in I wouldn’t venture out of the flat at first but then I started attending scrabble club for two hours on a Wednesday.

I wanted to leave my scooter outside of the room when I went to the club so I met Jackie and joined a keep fit class to see if she could help me. Jackie got me walking without holding on to anything and I couldn’t believe it. She said, ‘come on Betty ten sit-ups!’ and I said, ‘no way!’ but then she’d move my chair that I had to walk to a little further away. Gradually I became more able, I walked around the gym, then reception, then I asked to go to the shop. Now we’re walking all around the perimeter of the village! People keep stopping me saying I’m doing so well, it’s been absolutely lovely.

My vertigo used to be so bad, I was paying a lot of money to see someone outside the location but now with the exercises I’m doing here and yoga which I attend, I can turn over in bed without my head going funny. When I walked to the shop I told Jackie my balance felt so much better too.


Betty and Fitness Instructor Jackie at the shop

I’d say the key is perseverance. Even if I don’t feel like going to the gym I go three times a week, Monday Wednesday and Friday and I go to yoga on a Tuesday morning. I’ve been going for about six months.

What used to put me off was people saying ‘be careful’ it made you worry but it’s been great, now people have seen me do it they are on about joining the gym now.

The aim now is to go on holiday with only my walker and do line dancing at a holiday camp. I go on holiday on my own a lot, I’m very independent and I’ve been to Benidorm and Devon recently. I had a room for two weeks in Benidorm, whilst there I played bingo and won all my money back! It paid for my holiday!

I’m everyone’s friend. If anyone needs anything here I’m there for them. My neighbours are good, I feel lucky, full stop. Thanks to Jackie I feel so good. Finding this community is the best thing I ever did and I only wish I’d moved in sooner. I visit my daughter every month and I say to my kids I can’t thank them enough for getting me in to New Oscott.


Jackie adds:

When Betty first came to me it was about six months ago. She wanted to get out her chair and move to a seat. We started with standing up, strengthening legs, conditioning, exercises, holding exercise balls ,and ankle weights with leg raises. Balance comes from your core, if you can strengthen your core and walk more it strengthens it and in turn helps balance.

We see people attend our gym doing rehab referred from the stroke association or the NHS, we see so much improvement. That’s the best part of the job. People are comfortable here, it helps rebuild quality of life.

People like the idea of the gym but sometimes they aren’t consistent. Betty is consistent and now she’s reaping the reward. This is why I wanted to do a job like this to see this level of improvement. Betty has exceeded all of my expectations!

Other Stories

The best thing is having the support. We see each other most days. You can argue with a friend and you could never speak to them again but if you argue with a sibling they are still your sibling in the morning. I’m very protective of my brothers.”

Betty, Jim and Liam

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There are things in my life I would like to change, but the challenges in my life have made me much stronger. I am proud of the fact that everything I do here has allowed me to make so many friends. That is what I love the most.


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