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From walker to walking stick: How Anne regained independence

Health and Wellness Promoter Andrea Rosales watches Anne Mitchell walk

Anne Mitchell has discovered she can now accomplish things she hasn't been able to since her stroke in 2018 with the help of Southern Cross Care's Short-Term Restorative Care program.

The program Anne took part in is a physical activity plan designed specifically for you. It runs for eight weeks and can be taken in your home or local area.

Anne was attending weekly group exercise classes at The Pines, where she met Accredited Exercise Physiologist Patrick Joncyzk. He assessed her mobility by providing one-on-one attention while she was exercising. Patrick then recommended the STRC program to her, saying he thought it would help her improve her mobility.

An 8-week plan was created with Anne in the comfort of her own home. Since then, Anne has been seeing a podiatrist and learned things she never knew about her feet! She's seen a dietitian and discovered the best foods for good muscle strength, and she's going to see a hand therapist to regain strength in her left hand. Anne has also had a remedial massage therapist visit her at home.

Anne and her husband, Graeme, have been impressed with the level of support they've received while taking the program, and Anne says the staff are "just brilliant and really lovely".

Most importantly, though, Anne says the ability to walk confidently on her own has made the biggest difference to her. She says she felt strong and quite emotional when she was able to complete the test of walking around traffic cones and changing direction.

Anne said she learned many skills that continue to benefit her, a few months after the program has finished.

Last year, Anne and Graeme even took a holiday for their 50th wedding anniversary to Mooloolaba in Queensland. Thanks to the STRC program, Anne enjoyed relaxing walks along the seaside paths throughout her holiday.

She continues to visit The Pines for twice weekly one-on-one sessions to work on upper and lower body strength with Health and Wellness Promoter Andrea Rosales.

While Anne’s physio has noticed the difference in the spasticity of her muscles, Anne didn’t need the professional opinion to understand her improvement - she knows her mobility is better just because she can now walk with a stick more often than a walker!

Our health and wellness experts can help you to maintain or improve your independence and mobility. For more information visit one of our locations, or give us a call on 1800 852 772.