Sylvia back in the swim of things

When keen swimmer Sylvia, 90, was hospitalised last year she had lost a lot of confidence and had stopped swimming. But now she’s back in the pool, thanks to Envigor.

Living in a retirement village, Sylvia had been making good use of the village pool for the past 20 years and swimming was a daily ritual.

According to Cindy Jordan, Envigor Community Care Business Partner – Moreton Bay, swimming was more than just exercise for Sylvia, it was something that was vital for her wellbeing and mental health.

“Due to her situation, Sylvia had lost a lot of confidence and had decreased mobility. She had always found swimming beneficial and the village managers used to call her the Frog, as she was always the first person in the pool as soon as it opened for the season,” says Cindy.

“She had become quite unhappy about the fact that she felt she could not keep going, so we discussed the ways that we could help her to return to the pool.”

Cindy set to work getting a physiotherapist to design a land and pool based program to help increase Sylvia’s strength and in turn confidence.

“When she felt that she was able to return, we arranged for a physio to devise a weekly land program and also a swim program that she does twice a week. This is through Department of Veterans Affair (DVA) funding,” says Cindy.

“The physio was able to design and deliver the exercise programs for her, which she can also continue with the help of our Lifestyle Support Assistant (LSA).”

Since beginning her swim program, Sylvia has shown vast improvements not just in the pool but in her daily life.

“She has so much more energy and her mobility has markedly improved with less stiffness in her legs and her knees are bending more easily with less pain. She is now doing some of her own cleaning such as the kitchen sink, potters in the garden, cleans out her pantry and her cognitive ability has become keener as well,” says Cindy.

“On outings at the shops, she is able to go ahead and look at things without feeling hovered over and staff being right beside her. This, in turn, has increased her confidence and enjoyment of her outings as she is becoming more independent.

“Overall, she has a great zest for life. Being able to help clients in this way is what it’s all about for me.”

As well as her exercise and swimming program, Envigor provides Sylvia with personal care services, daily medication prompts, social support and domestic assistance.

Sylvia is pictured here with her physiotherapist Caragh and her Envigor LSA Ruth.

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