Patricia Howes (left) and Elizabeth Wingert receive the Avalon Go-Getter Recognition Award for May and April, respectively.
Avalon Go-Getters on the move
Sitting back is not an option for monthly award recipients
Patricia Howes is determined to be living with her husband at Avalon Retirement Lodge before their sixth wedding anniversary in June.
“That goal is very attainable,” says restorative care co-ordinator Dawn Busby, who’s working with Howes on her mobility and balance.
The 87-year-old has made great progress since coming in March to the Avalon Care Centre, a long-term care home adjoining the lodge. Howes had been in hospital after breaking a hip in December and arrived at Avalon unable to walk very far with a walker. She was also on oxygen and her endurance was challenged, Busby says.
Howes has since worked “very, very hard” and is now using her walker independently, Busby says. Howes faithfully attends Busby’s afternoon exercise class and works with the physiotherapy staff as part of a group and individually.
Her hard work and positive attitude have earned Howes the Avalon Go-Getter Recognition Award for May.
Presented monthly at the Jarlette Health Services home in Orangeville, the award celebrates the involvement and achievement of residents in restorative-care programming. Go-Getters are generally very motivated and willing to actively working towards specific goals, Busby says.
Howes is modest about the recognition, saying she feels it “may be undeserved.”
“But I am well motivated and so that makes me want to work really hard on my physio to get my walking in shape, and it’s come along very nicely,” she adds.
Howes says she uses her walker “pretty well all the time” and “can do practically everything myself.” There are some things she wants to achieve and is not one to give up.
“I’m pretty much a go-getter. I don’t sit back. I know I’m the one who has to do it, and I do it.”
Being with her husband, Jack Gilpin, is her biggest motivator.
“I’m really trying to get myself independent enough to get over there. And I’m very close to it,” she says.
Like Howes, Avalon’s Go-Getter for April is on the move and enjoying greater independence. It’s a far cry from two years ago when Elizabeth Wingert arrived at Avalon with an ankle broken in a fall. She was quite frail and thin and challenged to manage at a family member’s home, Busby says.
“I’m in much better shape than when I first came in,” Wingert says, agreeing with Busby that she was nervous and scared at first because she didn’t know what to expect.
But with daily exercise with Busby and walking with a physiotherapist, Wingert has reached a point where she can go fair distances with her walker and supervision. Arthritic flare-ups challenge her mobility; Wingert mostly uses a wheelchair to get around but she hopes to use it less and eventually not at all.
“Unfortunately I have a very bad knee,” Wingert says, explaining it can collapse unexpectedly. But in a reflection of her can-do attitude, she says: “I’ll have to work on that and see what we can figure out.”
Wingert does as much as she can for herself, like getting ready for the day every day.
“I like to look after myself and anything I can do, I do,” she says. “It frees the (staff members) to do other things because they are very busy.”
Wingert fights off the occasional blues by being thankful for what she has and vowing to “continue as best I can while I’m here.”
“There’s no point in sitting back.”
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