You may recognise Brad and Lis from our recent television commercial. With support from his wife Lis, family and ECH, Brad Hazell has been inspirationally working towards his goal to walk unaided again following a life-threatening brain stem stroke four years ago.
Brad normally receives support from ECH five days a week, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, transport and support at home, however COVID-19 had a significant impact on how this care was provided, so like many others, life looked a little different for some time.
Although the last few months have been physically and emotionally challenging, things are starting to get back to normal and Brad and Lis are extremely grateful to ECH for the services that helped them to get through.
“It was so important that Brad’s ECH Physiotherapist and our At-Home Support Worker, Martin, were both still so accessible”, says Lis. Prior to COVID-19, Brad would have physiotherapy at home once a week with his ECH physiotherapist Darren, however he has since transitioned his treatment to ECH College Grove as it gave him the opportunity to get out of the house and break up the week.
“We did our best to keep our distance, but it was nice to have the social interaction with ECH staff. If we didn’t see them, it would have been very lonely”, Brad says.
Brad’s physiotherapist Darren knows from years of experience that keeping active is the best way to maintain strength, balance and mobility. While Brad and Lis stayed at home and practiced social distancing, they were sitting longer and moving less. Heading into winter and coming out of the other side of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to take care of our physical health and keep moving.
Darren recommends pairing exercise with a daily routine such as mealtimes or creating an exercise chart for your fridge to help you stay focused. Exercises such as sit to stand, marching and bicep curls are all recommended to keep fit and strong. Lis kept busy by gardening and doing jigsaw puzzles, with Brad by her side listening to his favourite radio program and watching Grand Designs on TV.
They kept safe by staying inside and limiting interactions with others. However, they were able to stay connected with friends and family through regular phone calls. Lis says she most looked forward to having her grandchildren visit again as she missed the chaos and love they bring.
“My grandchildren run around with loud voices and mess the entire house up playing hide and seek when they visit,” laughs Lis. Not being able to see friends and family has been tough, however the thought of all being together again kept their spirits high.
The overwhelmingly positive outlook on life that Brad and Lis share is an inspiration.
If you’re unsure which exercises might be best for you, book an appointment with an ECH Physiotherapist. ECH tailor programs to your specific needs to help you improve your overall fitness and wellbeing. ECH Allied Health group programs are also a great way to keep connected to your community and stay social.
For more information, call ECH on 1300 275 324.