September 7, 2023

One step at a time

For a few years, Helen had lacked confidence in her mobility due to her fibromyalgia – a condition that causes chronic pain and fatigue – and experienced low blood pressure and dizzy spells, leading to unexpected falls. Helen also hadn’t gone shopping, walked the beautiful grounds of the Elliot Gardens Retirement Village where she lives, nor attended the hydrotherapy pool, which she previously loved! But after referral from her Care Coordinator, Joanne in April last year, Helen met Chelsea an ECH Occupational Therapist, who has since given her a new lease on life. Working together, Helen and Chelsea set a number of goals. They started small, and gradually built to regain her confidence in doing the activities she once loved. “My first goal was to walk around the house. Chelsea set me achievable exercises to complete each day, including chair exercises and to practise walking up and down my hallway. She would check on me weekly, and having that contact, really made a difference,” Helen says. “Chelsea is an absolute sweetheart and very empathetic. I feel like she is my granddaughter – she is just so bright and encouraging.”   Helen practiced walking around the village gardens for the first time in 13 years, and she has returned to the hydrotherapy pool. Chelsea says: “We practised walking through Woolworths, which she hadn’t been to for two years. Helen was so happy the first time we went. Seeing her face enjoying life and doing things she once was able to do…