HowFit In Care Case Study May 2022

Wendy Goodwin lives in sheltered accommodation and attends the HowFit session with James Smith, Age UK North Tyneside’s HowFit Trainer, each week. She has two children and three grandchildren and she is very close to her family.

She has always enjoyed being active and used to regularly go for long walks and swam twice weekly. Wendy has always been generally well with a medical history of type 2 diabetes, a deep vein thrombosis and high cholesterol.

At the end of 2021 Wendy suffered a large stroke (L PACS). She was found by her neighbour who called 999. Wendy spent six weeks in hospital and during that time had to learn to walk, speak and carry out daily living activities again. Her right leg and right hand were affected and she needed to have daily physiotherapy in addition to speech and language support. She was discharged with a reablement in place which supported Wendy for 6 weeks with carer support 4 times each day.

Wendy is now only receiving two calls weekly, is managing to get up and down stairs, cook her own meals and visit the shops. Her current goal is to get the train to London in August to see some of her family.

Wendy has been provided with exercises by her physiotherapist, which she completes independently on a daily basis. To motivate herself, Wendy said “every day I find something new that I can do”.

She has now been discharged from speech and language therapy and is continuing to work on her fine motor skills with her right hand. She is using a quad stick and a trolley with a seat to get around outdoors.

Through practise and determination, she confidently gets on the bus and goes to Wallsend shopping and can walk to and from the Metro station. She also attends a stroke club every fortnight and finds it good for peer support.

Wendy signed up to the HowFit session from the very start of the programme as is extremely motivated to improve her fitness, general mobility and function after her stroke. She is very determined and will always strive to do tasks independently.

During the HowFit sessions, one of the exercises performed is to stand from a chair either using the arms of the chair for assistance or independently if possible. Since her stroke, Wendy had not been able to stand from the chair independently, but with perseverance and encouragement from the class, Wendy was able to stand independently. Wendy commented “I will go again and again until I do it”.

Commenting on class attendance Wendy said it has helped increase her confidence and they are good fun, which “makes you want to continue going”. She also said James is very good and “gets everybody involved, which makes it a good social experience too. Attending an exercise class with others helps with morale and is a good network of support”.

Wendy said she would encourage anybody thinking of attending the HowFit sessions to do so, as well as stressing the importance of doing the exercises independently. She stated “it is me saying I have to get myself better”. For Wendy the benefit of the classes and doing her exercises have been invaluable to her.

- Find more out about Age UK North Tyneside here.

- Find out about Age UK's Keeping Fit services and activities listed on LWNT here


With thanks to Age UK North Tyneside for contributing this article and photograph.