Everest challenge? Yes we can!

An Everest challenge


It takes a pretty special kind of person, to summit Mt Everest. However at AHF we have always said “anyone can Neverest!”. In July, the team at AHF saw a group of aged care residents and staff take this challenge to heart.

Anne Samuel from Moran Aged Care Sylvania had heard about AHF’s Kathmandu Neverest Challenge through a chance conversation. Then the Moran Sylvania team was inspired to use the idea to improve the wellbeing of residents. 

“Our goal at Moran Sylvania was to involve our residents in a fun, interesting activity. [And it has] the added benefit of increasing their mobility, muscle mass and confidence. This all works towards minimising falls, and of course it’s an excellent way for them to socialise” said Anne.

Accordingly, Moran Sylvania began the Reach the Summit Challenge. The goal? To have residents walk 8850m – equivalent to the height from Kathmandu to the Summit of Mount Everest. While some residents could manage alone, some needed walking frames or assistance from staff in wheelchairs or mobile beds. To much celebration, the residents acheived their goal in July.

Learning about Nepal


Interestingly, Moran Sylvania has a number of Nepali team members who took the time to share some of their culture with residents. Chefs prepared Nepali dishes for residents and team members to taste. Some favourites included Momos, Nepali Curry, Khir (Nepali rice pudding) and Gajar Halwa (carrot pudding).

At AHF we considered ourselves “support crew” and supplied posters, prayer flags and banners. We loaned Moran Sylvania a beautiful Richard I’Anson Mt Everest backdrop to keep the residents inspired by the Himalaya. The piece de resistance for a lot of residents was a personal video message from AHF Ambassador George Hillary,  encouraging them to continue the challenge.

Moran named their Physiotherapists as Sherpas for the challenge. Sherpa Dhan said “There have been so many successes as a result of this challenge… We have a resident who recently suffered from a serious stroke and is unable to walk. She was determined to participate in the walk by being pushed in her wheelchair, moving her strong ankle every step of the way. I cannot explain how exciting it was […] when we realized that she had found movement in her stroke-affected ankle as a result of this challenge.”

The personal results of the participants were amazing. 99 year old Dorothy Brandley didn’t miss a single warm up, walk or warm down. Said Dorothy – “I don’t like to sleep during the day…I don’t want to miss out on anything! You’ve got just keep your body moving every day, I don’t like to sit around!”