Mike Uncorked: Ashley Hancock and the GLA:D Program

Mike Uncorked: Ashley Hancock and the GLA:D Program
By Mike Butler

Ashley Hancock grew up in Halifax, but has ties to the Valley through her mom and dad, and she spent a lot of her childhood here. She was tickled pink to move back here five years ago.

“I went to Dalhousie as both an undergraduate (Kinesiology) and graduate student (MSc. in Physiotherapy),” Ashley says, “so I spent lots of time there before living in Northern Alberta for a year with my now-wife. When we decided to move home we knew we didn’t want to live in a city. The Valley was calling our names!”

Ashley is a physiotherapist who wears a few different hats: “I work at the hospital with a program called Seniors LINCS, and the rapid assessment team in the emergency department. I also work at Julie Skaling Physiotherapy and I’ve been there about a year and a half now. I started with women’s health and incontinence work as well as general orthopedics.”

In her early 20s Ashley spent three summers working at a sleep-away camp for children, youth, and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities in New Brunswick. The experiences she had there really changed her as a person, and she loved caring for and getting to know people. Since then, she’s always seen herself as a caregiver who wants to help people feel and be better! She loves her community (Kentville and the Valley at large), so expanding social experiences and wellness within her community is very important to Ashley: “I love helping people improve their quality of life and giving them the tools they need to be happy and healthy after they’re finished seeing me, which is why I’m now launching our new program, GLA:D, which I’m so excited about!”

The GLA:D program is a station-based group exercise program aimed at people who have hip and knee arthritis. Although it’s completed in a group, the exercises are completely individualized. Each person is assessed for their abilities and the therapists create a program that is challenging, but attainable. The exercises themselves are not overly complicated, but the way it’s delivered has been shown to be incredibly successful.

Ashley says “over 30,000 people have gone through the program in Denmark, showing amazing results, but closer to home, Canadians participating have seen a 28% reduction in pain intensity and a 35% improvement in physical activity! I am thrilled to be able to offer this program here in the Valley.”

Ashley’s biggest goal is to work toward governmental change to improve access and services to seniors and everyone in our communities. And her determined nature seems to be working in her favour for getting things done. Contact Ashley and get with the program everyone. Get GLA:D!