95-year olds put a spring in my step!


Look at the picture above then read on…

Never thought I’d ever be writing this! I’ve walked 1000s of kilometres, been trampolining, had years of pool rehab,  gym, weights, blar blar,  you know how dedicated I’ve been…..

Well! After all that, who’d have thought a day at an Aged Retreat would leave me so exhausted?!!! The little old ladies had me up dancing! Today we did a quiz and I had a morning natter to a few of the residents…Funny, some of them! Hahaha (real funny!) And it’s all part of my work experience!

Yes, I really like my new volunteer job on Thursdays; It’s certainly different to my Friday sessions at the hospital.

As some of you may know, I’m going back to finish the last part of my course in July, so I wanted to gain as much experience as I could in my new chosen field as an OTA (occupational therapy assistant). Over the years I’ve come across many new conditions, such as:

Stroke and Locked-in syndrome (obviously); Guillain  Barre syndrome (where nerves are attacked by the body’s own immune defence system);
Multiple Sclerosis; Aphasia  (communication/speech problems); and Head Injury. I’ve also encountered Melanoma,
amputees, Diabetes…let’s leave it at that, ey. My point is, one thing I’d never been involved with was Dementia and I wanted to learn more about it!!

Well, I believe in fate and, while I was on my Tafe course, I met a lovely fellow Manc (Manchester) lass called Alicia Walker. We hit it off straightaway and became friends, even catching up over a juicy steak. That sealed a long-term friendship, I’ll tell ya! Nom nom nom! Just so happens she worked in care for the aged and pumped me into the pipeline at her place.

I’ve only had 2 days at this retreat but I’m under OTA’s wings and trying to get hands on and be helpful. Well, like I said, the ladies had me dancing, something I haven’t tried to do for years – and, Yes, I still suck! Haha! But I really got a lot out of it. The enjoyment the residents were having stimulated me too; it was wonderful seeing them smiling and coming to life!

I love the way OTAs can find ways to get people moving. As I’m all too aware, movement is everything when it comes to stimulating the brain and mood. OTAs also give back a sense of purpose – an aspect I’m particularly interest in and hope to put to good use in the future.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure whether this will be my direction, but I had a good few days at the care home, even improving my general knowledge during the quiz! Did you know Asia is the biggest continent!? It’s in there now – go on ask me another!!!!  Our team came second in the quiz too, with very little help from me! They were pro!!!

Altogether, a great day! I never dreamed I could get up and dance with 95-year old ladies and bring smiles to their faces….not after my story. Think they all liked me, despite my two left feet; but, hey, let’s not be doing the tango before I can two-step! It’s only been a couple of days so, “Easy Pete, easy lad! Let’s not get too excited!”

Thanks Alicia – It’s been a pleasure so far. And thanks to all the team at Aegis Aged Care Group!

You’re the best!