At 91, Ellen Dempsey is able and stable

Motivating others: Ellen Dempsey.
Motivating others: Ellen Dempsey.

Ellen Dempsey had her first hip replacement in 2000. Her second one was in 2005.

But that hasn't slowed down the 91-year-old once dubbed the "Fairfield Flash" because she was always walking at a good pace with her children in tow.

Instead the Bossley Park woman has spent more than a decade motivating Fairfield Hospital's other hip replacement patients.

Once Id finished much of my own program, Minh asked me to come back and motivate others, so I did and Ive loved every minute of it.


Ms Dempsey still attends regular sessions of the Able and Stable falls prevention program at Mount Pritchard Community Club to maintain her fitness and inspire others.

Fairfield Hospital Physiotherapy Acute Team Leader Minh Pham, who is in charge of the Able and Stable falls prevention program, invited Ms Dempsey to come back and motivate other people once she completed her own program.

"Doing those exercises after my surgery has definitely made me stronger; I've had no more falls. The program is proof exercise prevents falls," she said.

"I was always on the go but I had a couple of silly falls. One was in Barber Street, Fairfield at a roundabout which resulted in spinal surgery and another was in my kitchen at home when I tripped over a box.

"I got a lot out of those sessions with Minh. She is such a lovely lady and is really good at getting the best out of everyone.

"Nowadays, when I go to the doctor, they tell me how well I am. I put my good health down to my commitment to exercise and I can thank Minh for a lot of that."

The Able and Stable program at Fairfield Hospital is a multidisciplinary nine-week falls prevention program with a focus on balance and strength training.

Ms Pham said Ms Dempsey was an integral part of the success of the program which has seen a reduction in falls among participants by 60 per cent and an increased physical activity level by 50 per cent.

"Ellen participated and facilitated with orientating the new participants. She has been an inspiration and, was an important part of our attendance rates being so high, even when they 'didn't feel like it'," she said.