W&L is excited to bring you the announcement of the winners and highly commended nominees of the Active Ager of the Year Award for 2016. Thanks to everyone who has participated and nominated some truly inspiring older Australians.
Dorothy Baily is an 88yo resident at Barossa Village. She was unable to stand for 5 years while at another facility. When she arrived at Barossa Village, Dorothy began lower limb strengthening with OT staff, followed by standing practice with the support of a standing lifter. Gradually Dorothy regained strength and condition and began walking with assistance. Due to her motivation and determination, Dorothy has exceeded everyone’s expectations and is now able to walk a lap of the facility and she loves the fresh air during her walks.
Thomas Miles is a resident at CCH Park Village. He suffered fractures to both ankles in a fall 6 months ago and faced a challenging and complex recovery. After 6 weeks where he was unable to weight bear, he contracted pneumonia and doctors advised that he would probably never walk again. However, Thomas was determined and was very diligent with his exercise and strengthening program. Once the plasters were removed, he got back on his feet surprisingly quickly and walked further than ever before. His sense of humour and determination has been an inspiration to all as he never allowed his injuries, illness or vision impairment stop him from making a full recovery.
Congratulations to Dorothy and Thomas. Both will be presented with their awards in the following weeks.
The following group were Highly Commended by our judging panel for their achievements in active ageing.
PETRONELLA LAMPEN – ACH HIGHERCOMBE, SA – gym and early intervention, 65-75y
Petronella had always been an active person at ACH Highercombe, attending the gym and many activities. Unfortunately Petronella suffered astroke which resulted in minimal movement in her left arm, and no movement in her left leg. To make matters worse, Petronella sustained a broken ankle from the fall at the time of the stroke. With much determination and help from the Allied Health and Fitness team, Petronella has regained movement and strength in her left side. She has gone from a wheelchair to walking short distances with a gutterframe (FASF). Her positive nature and determination has resulted in a great success
MILDRED TOPPERWEIN – ADVENTIST CARE, WA – no formal strategies, 75-85y
Mildred is one of those people who inspires others. She has not let admission to an aged care facility rob her of independence or exercise. Mildred regularly walks every morning. She also stays active by:
- Catching buses and trains to get to appointments
- Going camping
- Doing her own laundry
- Looking after the Adventist Care gardens
- Taking the bus to the shops
These activity levels are complemented by a strong community presence. Mildred sets up, co-ordinates and runs weekly Bingo sessions, knits ‘trauma teddies’, assists staff to encourage others to activities and meals, providing emotional support and photographing facility events (after which she distributes photos to the other residents)
Mildred’s energy and compassion are an inspiration
HELEN McINNES – DUNBAR, SA – early intervention, >95y
Helen was facing challenges – she had severe osteoporosis and a significant leg length discrepancy which was impacting on her balance. Whilst unwell with a bad infection, Helen had a fall, breaking her left upper arm, collarbone, hip, shin bone and ribs. Helen wasn’t suitable for surgery despite these injuries. Next she suffered pneumonia. Once given the ‘all clear’, Helen started the long road to recovery, learning to walk again with bones that were still painful and healing. Now 2-3 months later, Helen has improved from 4 people assisting her to stand and step, to supervision from a distance, and is able to walk about 250m! Helen is most definitely a convert to the Active Ageing regime and makes sure she encourages others to join in to be “Fabulously fit & over fifty”, especially as she nears her 98th birthday!!
RON POWER – DUNBAR, SA – early intervention, 85-95y
Ron’s efforts are worth sharing. Despite admission to Dunbar Aged Care facility, Ron hasn’t slowed down. He acts as Dunbar’svolunteer gardener and has a range of gym equipment in his room. He can often be found working on his son’s sailing boat or catching the train and tram from Salisbury to Glenelg for lunch. Just recently he participated in a 3km fundraiser fun run – and wouldn’t stop until he completed the full distance. Ron is so keen to stick to his active lifestyle that recently when he had a sore shoulder, the physio advised him to ‘keep his elbow in’ – so he tied his arm to his chest for the weekend to ensure it got better as quickly as possible. That’s motivation!
When Chrystalla was admitted to NECNH after a stroke in April 2016, she was unable to stand or walk, and spent her days in a chair. After working with the Allied Health team on an intensive rehabilitation program, compliance with a home exercise program and Chrystalla’s own motivation, effort & hard work, improvements started to come. Today (October 2016), Chrystalla can walk 50m with a walker and minimal assistance. Chrystalla is not satisfied with these gains and continues to work closely with the Allied Health team, with the aim of regaining independence with her self-care.
LANCE CLEAVE – ACH WEST PARK – gym & early intervention, 75-85y
When Lance was admitted to ACH West park 15 months ago, he was suffering from significant pain and needed 2 people to help with standing and stepping, after a prolonged stay in hospital. Despite this, Lance was determined this would not hold him back from returning to his beloved bowling green and lawn bowls. By attending the gym daily and working on specific bowling related exercises, as well as walking to increase his endurance, Lance has managed his return. With less than 12 months of rehabilitation, Lance is playing lawn bowls 3 days per week – including competition. #impressed
ADA “TRESS” KENNY – ACH MILPARA, SA – gym & early intervention, 85-95y
Ada has taken to the Active Ageing Program at ACH Milpara like a duck to water. She attends many exercise opportunities such as: early risers exercise class, the cross-trainer in the gym, Limboshakers exercise class, Falls prevention exercise group, Walk Around Australia as well as going on extra walks herself, attending carpet bowls, seated dance, knitting and art groups. Ada does all of this despite a significant vision impairment. By challenging herself at every turn, Tress has been able to regularly go out with her family, on trips to art galleries and even entered paintings in the Royal Adelaide Show competitions.