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Clinical specialist in home with senior woman in a wheelchair

“I learned how to stand again, reduce the risk of falling, and what to eat to help meet my medical needs”

Christeen shares how a STRC program has improved her quality of life

If you have sustained an injury or illness and need a bit of help to get back on your feet (figuratively…or literally), a Feros Care short term restorative care program (STRC) could be the perfect solution.

Personally tailored to your health and wellness goals, this eight-week program provides a wealth of benefits, as experienced first-hand by 69-year-old Feros client Christeen.

Multiple mobility issues

Christeen’s positivity, glass-half-full mentality, and supportive partner have helped her navigate a variety of health problems, and the subsequent impact they’ve had on her mobility.

These include a problematic hip, osteoarthritis in the shoulder, spinal canal stenosis and most notably, an unsuccessful knee replacement which led to eight additional knee surgeries.

“I’ve had operation after operation on my knee and many nasty infections as a result, so there’s been a lot to work through,” she says.

Post-surgery complications combined with severe nerve root compression, foot drop, and the conditions mentioned above, left Christeen reliant on a wheelchair. She then began to experience regular discomfort and stiffness from sitting in the one position and was worried about falling from the chair.

To improve her health and mobility as well as reduce the risk of injury in the future, Christeen decided specialist medical guidance would help her live her best life.

A dietary overhaul

Christeen also has type 2 diabetes and requires careful meal planning.

“I need to eat and avoid certain foods to help manage my diabetes, plus I wanted to lose some weight and find out if I’m eating a nutritious diet,” she says.

Plus, being a wheelchair user, Christeen naturally struggles with the logistics of cooking.

“I can cut things up and help with preparation, but my partner Paul is the one who cooks all the meals in our house now.”

Unsure if the foods she was choosing were optimal for her diabetes and keen to simplify the cooking process for Paul, Christeen was interested in professional dietary guidance.

Finding the answers with a tailor-made STRC program

After undergoing an ACAT assessment, Christeen was referred to Feros Care for a government funded Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) program. From there, Christeen and her Feros Wellbeing Manager mapped out her program goals based on her personal needs.

Firstly, Christeen indicated that she’d benefit from exercise physiology to increase her strength and mobility. She wanted more function, flexibility and balance in her wheelchair, and expert advice to assist with transfers between bed and chair etc, to minimise the risk of falls.

“I’ve had a lot of falls over the years and don’t want to have any more,” emphasised Christeen.

She also opted in for a detailed consultation with a dietitian to assess her type 2 diabetes, overall nutrition, and bowel function.

Genuinely motivated and supported by her Wellbeing Manager, Christeen embarked on the custom-built STRC program. Fast-forward to now, and it’s evident that her optimism was not misplaced.

What a difference 8 weeks can make…

Christeen’s STRC experience is a great story for anyone needing help to recover from injury or illness, or clinical guidance to improve wellbeing.

“I can now stand without falling,” she says happily. “I’ll always be in a wheelchair, but the sessions I had with the exercise physiologist have been fantastic.”

“I actually haven’t had any type of fall since the physio, and I can get around the house easier.”

This outcome was achieved through falls prevention and balance education and training, with the exercise physiologist conducting one-on-one exercise therapy to improve body conditioning and balance.

She also created a personalised exercise program for Christeen to complete independently and complement the supervised exercise sessions.

Eat yourself healthy!

And it’s not only Christeen’s strength, balance, and confidence moving around the house that have improved.

To reduce carer fatigue, satisfy diabetes dietary requirements, maximise nutritional value, and help achieve weight loss goals, the dietician recommended a meal delivery service.

She also suggested the introduction of probiotic yoghurt for gut microbiome health, discussed ways to increase fibre intake, and talked Christeen through a Pictorial Guide to Healthy Eating for Diabetes booklet (which she could keep).

Bowl of probiotic yoghurt

“The dietician even told us about monkfruit (natural sweetener),” says Christine. “It’s a great swap for sugar and we’d never heard of it before.”

Continued support

As Christeen’s eight-week STRC has now come to an end, her Feros Care Wellbeing Coach has helped organise a ‘tailor-made’ home care package (HCP) to suit her needs.

This means Christeen will have ongoing government-funded access to the services she requires to stay on top of her health and wellness and continue living in her own home.

Sign me up!

To qualify for a STRC program, you must be aged 65 years or over (50 or over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples) and be slowing down mentally and/or physically.

To find out more about eligibility, government funding, and how this program could benefit you, click here.

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