Cardiac and Pulmonary rehabilitation patients from across the Stawell district are benefiting from the new Community Rehabilitation Centre at the Stawell Hospital.
The complex features a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary gym and group meeting area, which are used by both the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs at Stawell Regional Health.
Primary Care Manager, Liz McCourt said individually tailored programs helped to improve the lives of people who have had, or currently suffer from heart, lung or vascular disease.
"The programs aim to improve quality of life, help people adjust physically and psychologically to their illness, improve exercise tolerance, reduce disease symptoms and address lifestyle risks in a supportive environment," Ms McCourt said.
"Tailored strategies for each patient may include a mix of highly supervised exercise training, nutrition counselling, education on medications, psychological counselling, smoking cessation counselling, risk-factor assessment and risk-reduction services and referrals to other health professionals."
Ms McCourt explained that patients took part in 16 sessions over eight weeks and may come back for another round of sessions if required to further support their rehabilitation.
Stawell resident Shelley Dowsett had a heart attack in August 2013 and her most recent heart surgery was in November last year.
"My individual program helps me improve my fitness, which has me breathing and walking better," Mrs Dowsett said.
"Being in the group is nice because it means I'm not alone with this."
Halls Gap resident Robert Irvine had emergency open heart surgery last November and this is his second round with the cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation program.
"Living in Halls Gap I naturally like to walk everywhere," Mr Irvine said.
"With the guidance of supportive staff, the program gives me fitness targets to meet so I can walk with confidence."
For more information about the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs please contact Allied Health Reception on 5358 8531.