W&L Active Ager of the Year 2017

W&L Active Ager of the Year 2017


Gladys Gray – IRT Tarrawanna, NSW – 85-95 years (with PT Tori Hall)

Gladys is a delightful 91 yo lady who in the last nine months has made astounding improvements in both her mobility and quality of life. Before being admitted to IRT Tarrawanna, Gladys had been in a rehabilitation setting after a series of falls exacerbated her knee pain – with little success. On admission, in March 2016, Gladys was a hoist transfer to a wheelchair and was having significant difficulty weight-bearing at all. Since beginning her exercise program with W&L, Gladys is now able to mobilise with her 4WW and supervision from staff. Through hard work, lots of moans and groans, and Gladys’ pure determination to improve she is now able to walk herself to/from dinner, go out of the facility for lunch trips with her family / visit old friends, and participate in any activity she can – i.e. friendship group, hoi, concerts, and of course – bingo! Gladys deserves to be AA of 2017 as she has worked super hard to overcome the many obstacles in her way, always with a smile on her face!


Connie Olbison, North Eastern Community Nursing Home, SA – 85-95 years (with PT Jordan Paparella)

Connie’s life changed when she fell in January 2017, breaking her shoulder, hip and pelvis in multiple places. Due to these fractures and her diagnoses of Parkinson’s and Rheumatoid Arthritis, the doctors told her that she would never walk again. When she arrived at North Eastern Community Nursing Home, she could not stand and was using a hoist lifter to transfer in/out of bed. However, Connie remained determined and was able to return to walking with some very intense rehabilitation with input from multiple W&L therapists. She can now walk 100m with a 4WW and has started practicing walking outside with staff!



Jean Lee, Allity Holly Residential, SA – 85-95 years (site OTs: Mirena DeCesare & Michelle Mart)

Jean was ambulant until she fell in June 2017, fracturing her left pubic rami. At this point, she became fearful of walking, and despite all encouragement, required a hoist lifter to transfer after declining to weight bearing for several weeks. Jean’s family requested private input and Jean progressed to a stand lifter. Unfortunately, Jean’s sister then passed away and Jean stated she no longer wanted to live. Rehabilitation was ceased and Jean chose ‘comfort care’ options only. A few weeks later, Jean felt better and requested rehabilitation start again. She exceeded everyone’s expectations and after 2 months of further rehab input from the Allied Health team, Jean achieved her goal of walking to the dining room for meals with staff. Jean achieved all of this whilst dodging both gastro and Influenza A outbreaks! We admire her dedication.