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Mindful Moving: A continuation of holistic health for Fiona

Born and raised in Scotland, playing hide and seek in Linlithgow Palace, Fiona Greenlaw completed school and operated her own successful hairdressing salon until 1990. She then travelled around the world and landed in Australia where she stayed.  One thing has stuck from her hairdressing days that can she bring to her current role at Feros Care is, ‘It’s fun, it’s creative and it’s flexible’.

Starting as a coordinator for ‘Stepping On’ a Falls Prevention program rolled out over the Far North Coast, Fiona then rolled out a Tai Chi Qigong falls prevention class over the Byron Shire and found her feet a couple of months ago in the Positive Living Team at Feros Village Wommin Bay.

“It’s amazing being a part of the Positive Living team. We are dedicated to holistic health and wellness. Creating fun and happiness. Truly caring for the mind, body and spirit of our residents and having fun moments every day,” she said.

Our Positive Living teams, based at all three of Feros Care’s residential villages, have a strong focus on ensuring healthy active ageing, falls prevention and community engagement as part of the programs they provide. The teams are instrumental in creating another chapter and a life worth living for residents by contributing to programs that are meaningful and offering something truly special to our residents and their families.

Over the past 20 years, Fiona has developed a well-being program called ‘Mindful Moving,’ a combination of Qigong, Tai Chi and meditation which indulges the body and mind into the relaxation response. This program has now been implemented at Wommin Bay Village over a 12-week course, with positive results already beginning to present only two weeks in.

Although Fiona is only at the start of her Feros journey, magical moments are already beginning  to occur.

“Today I was giving a Tai Chi class with my residents who live with dementia. One resident who doesn’t normally participate joined in class, performing the first move of Tai Chi with the group. I was so thrilled and I’m excited to see how her behaviours change as she was very calm, cooperative and content for the rest of the day,” she said.

Working in the industry has its challenges, as any aged care worker will let you know. Fiona has many achievements she is proud of including completing a Degree in Human Movement Science while raising 2 kids and winning the L’Oreal Colour Trophy Champion in Scotland with her own hairdressing salon 3 years running (“I am good for a cut and colour!”).

One thing that stands out during her time in aged care is the day an elderly client of her Mindful Moving exercise classes waved to her as she entered the room. When they first met, she was in a wheelchair with contracted limbs and unable to lift her arms up. Over time, she joined in every movement and waved constantly. This brought tears of joy, a very precious moment.

Care Manager Lorelle Hughes says that Fiona has an open, non-judgemental approach to the residents. 

“She observes the residents’ right to choose, identifying with their needs and supporting them to practice their belief systems and thus maintain their personal identity. Fiona has facilitated meditation with one resident who had explored Buddhism. The calming, healing response was evident when the resident started communicating in sentences – a skill that had been silent for the majority of her time with us. The resident’s husband expressed his appreciation when commenting on the change. We now have Tai Chi sessions in the courtyard. As a result of Fiona’s support, other residents too, have experienced greater inclusion in our homes activities, establishing deeper relationships as they share activities that are meaningful with each other. We welcome Fiona to our caring community at Wommin Bay”

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