Health and Wellbeing Client of the Season – Autumn 2020

December 25, 2020

As part of our Health and Wellbeing services, HILS provides nutritional support and tailored physical activity programmes to older and vulnerable people living in the community. Our Health and Wellbeing Client of the Season Award is an opportunity for us to celebrate our client’s achievements, hard work and determination.

It has been a challenging year for a number of our clients, many of whom have experienced extreme isolation as a result of the pandemic. But despite the challenges this year has brought, we have seen our clients continue to persevere and achieve their goals.

This season, we’re celebrating three clients who have made huge strides towards improving their nutrition and physical activity.

Achieving healthy weight gain

When Alan joined our Meals on Wheels service last year, he was struggling to maintain a healthy weight through his diet and subsequently lost 12kg, putting him at risk of malnutrition. Concerned about his unintentional weight loss and keen to do something about it, Alan began receiving support from our Senior Community Dietitian, Simone.

‘After being weighed they discovered I was on the border of becoming malnourished, and ever since then I’ve been receiving extra food like soups and snacks which has been great.’ Says Alan.

‘Due to Alan’s medication schedule he’s unable to eat after 3pm, which made increasing his food intake challenging. We worked on a way to increase the calorie content of each meal rather than increasing the amount he was eating through fortified soups and snacks in addition to his daily meals on wheels.’ Said Simone.

Alan started increasing his calorie intake even further by adding extra food to his daily meals on wheels.

‘The support has really helped me keep the weight on, I’ve been adding two fried eggs to my midday meal every day. I’m really hoping to get up to 11 stone!’ Says Alan. He has also increased his snacks and is regularly enjoying enriched drinks.

Since joining our Meals on Wheels service, Alan has gained over 8kg through our Nutrition and Wellbeing support and has now joined our Active Ageing service to work on mobility. Well done Alan!

Getting connected

Living alone, without Wi-Fi, and no family members close by, Anna was greatly impacted by the national lockdown back in March.

“I used to go to the supermarket late afternoon and have a cup of coffee or tea, and people would also be there like me – often on their own – and you get quite a social network in places like that. But during lockdown, I was completely isolated, which was very, very difficult for me.” Said Anna. But despite this Anna was determined to stay as mobile as possible; a difficult task as she suffers from painful joints.

To begin with Anna received wellbeing and exercise phone calls from our Active Ageing Specialist Nicki. But with only a landline phone and no loud speaker, Nicki was limited in the exercise she could do with Anna.

The pair began with chair based exercises, slowly incorporating standing and strengthening exercises while using a chair for balance. Over time, and with help from Nicki, Anna was able to not only stay physically active but also improve her flexibility and range of movement.

While improving mobility was important for Anna, staying connected to loved ones was also important for her overall wellbeing. To help Anna get connected she was offered a tablet from one of HILS’ partner organisations, as well as IT support from another local charity. With further help from our Active Ageing Lead, Jade, Anna learnt how to use WhatsApp video calls, which meant she was able to reconnect with her loved ones.

Since the end of lockdown, Anna has been completing her Active Ageing session via video call which has allowed Nicki to expand the exercises they do. Anna is well on her way to completing the 12-week programme and has set herself a new challenge to learn how to use Google.

Go Anna!

Staying active

When June joined our Active Ageing Service, her aim was to improve her grip strength and hand mobility, as well as her balance and posture; which had been a particular issue as she suffers from arthritis.

June worked with our Active Ageing Team, doing specific exercises that helped improve her balance and posture, such as balancing on one leg for up to one minute.

June has come a long way since joining the service. Before joining, June often relied on her stair lift, but now, she will almost always choose to walk up and down the stairs, incorporating it into her daily exercises. Her confidence has increased so much so, that she now enjoys regular walks with her friend down the river and looks forward to her weekly shop.

Well June, and congratulations again to all our Health and Wellbeing Clients of the Season!