Norma's Recovery

November 19, 2020

Learn how patience, determination, two physios and a gym helped to get Norma back on her feet.

Norma loves living at Mayflower Reservoir, but her life became challenging when she took a fall and fractured her pelvis in February of this year.

Prior to the fall, Norma could walk with a 4-wheel walker (4WW), but was unable to move about or complete her normal activities of daily living after her discharge from hospital.


Pictured above: Norma and Narelle in the new gym. “I thought the harder I tried, the better off I would be,” says Norma. “I didn’t want to be stuck in a bed or a chair, so I kept doing the rehab.”

Mayflower’s physiotherapists from Empower Healthcare - Narelle and Riad - immediately began therapy, four times a week, to help manage her ‘constant and debilitating’ pain. This included bed and chair exercises with the aim to increase strength and maintain movement.

Norma’s main goal was to be able to walk around her home at Mayflower Reservoir again.

“Walking and mobility gives me freedom,” says Norma.

Like all of us, Norma wanted to be able to walk independently to the bathroom and shower. She also wanted to be able to make her own way to the loungeroom to play bingo with other residents and lifestyle staff.

Small steps deliver big rewards

Together with Narelle and Riad, Norma set her goal of achieving her pre-fall level of mobility of 50 metres using a 4WW and one person to assist.

Norma’s rehabilitation was progressive, systematic, and thorough in addressing all facets of walking.

Narelle and Riad worked with Norma to practice her transfers (getting out of bed, sit to stand) many times. This gave Norma the confidence to slowly get moving again while helping her to regain strength.

Once Norma was able to confidently stand, the team had her marching on the spot before progressing to taking a few steps. Gait retraining along with strength and conditioning saw Norma successfully progress over the following weeks and months to walking more than 100 metres!

Self-motivation drives success

“I thought the harder I tried, the better off I would be,” says Norma. “I didn’t want to be stuck in a bed or a chair, so I kept doing the rehab.”

Narelle says working with Norma, has been incredibly rewarding.

“Being able to spend quality time with residents and supporting them to live their life the way they want to, reinforces that we are changing a person’s life for the better,” says Narelle.

“Norma worked so hard that her mobility and endurance have now improved well beyond her pre-fall levels.”

New Wellness Centre

The physiotherapy team continue to work with Norma on a weekly basis, and Norma is now benefitting from the new Wellness Centre at Mayflower Reservoir.

Empower Healthcare collaborated with Mayflower on design of the centre.

The Wellness Centre is not just about physical health either, it aims to provide a range of social and mental health benefits at well.

“We envisage that this space will promote a culture of wellbeing for everyone as it will encourage residents to get together and have a laugh while participating in daily physical activity,” Narelle says.

Something for Everyone

Whether the goal is to improve walking, optimise heart and lung function through cardiovascular exercise or strengthen bones and muscles, there is something in the Wellness Centre for everyone.

  • Parallel bars are great for getting people back on their feet after a stroke or surgery
  • The treatment room is perfect for private hands on therapy by our physiotherapists
  • A wall of floor to ceiling mirrors to monitor technique and visible improvements, and
  • It all comes together to resemble a small rehabilitation style gym.

Narelle says Empower is delighted with the results of the project and is looking forward to sharing more good news stories about resident reablement in the near future.

“It’s a credit to the team at Mayflower for their hard work and determination in providing a space that truly promotes wellbeing,” says Narelle. “We are honoured to have been involved in this project and couldn’t be happier with the end result.”

Mayflower 46T4062

Pictured above: The new gym is well fit out. “We are thrilled to support Mayflower as partners in health,” says Narelle. “Together, we have created a space that caters to a range of people including residents, older people in the community and clients with disabilities.”