Local Mum's New Business Supports Elderly in Community
Physiotherapist Paula Cooper, who is offering any group or organisation a free presentation and practical workshop teaching how to support elderly people with limited mobility as part of International Older People’s Day this week, has seen a life-changing transformation in 87 year old David Holden, who after hospitalisation lost the ability to walk, and even feed himself.
David, who entered hospital with a urine infection, but full mobility, whilst there lost all mobility, resulting in him being unable to pick up a cup himself, feed himself, or sit independently without support. He was most upset by not being able to walk stating “I don’t know why I can’t walk -I really want to walk”.
Suffering depression as a result and spending most days in bed once he returned to his nursing home, David’s overall health was deteriorating, and his mental wellbeing which had been also been affected by the recent death of his wife of nearly 63 years, was at an all time low. His daughter Penny who was hugely upset and frustrated to see this decline in her dad didn’t know where to turn until she came across Paula’s new business, after being referred to the NHS physios who discharged him as there was nothing more they could do with their minimal resources.
Penny has this week has spoken out to thank Paula after David has turned a huge corner in both his health and mental wellbeing.
She said:“Despite everything Dad is really good at the moment and so positive. I’ve asked him tonight how the session went and he is so proud of himself and what he can accomplish at the moment with supported standing , being able to feed himself for the first time in a long times- take drinks himself and developing fine motor skills . The difference in him physically and mentally is brilliant.”
She added: “After having to be hoisted everywhere for the last 12 months and having to be fed and most things done for him, Dad can now stand again and has become more independent . This is amazing and it has done so much for his mental well being too, at a personal time when he’s needed it the most.”
Paula said: “David can now sit, eat, & drink independently and stand with assistance - he WILL be able to walk again independently, this is just a matter of time and we are so close to him being to do this. His mood is up, and he is going out doing activities in his wheelchair. This makes me so happy to see!”.
46 year old Paula established Moor Therapy Solutions earlier this year and is now teaming up with other local mums looking for flexible working, including Amy, also from Addingham who she met in the school playground. Other team members include Maria from Guiseley, Abi from Bingley, Leigh from Eccup, and Helen from Cookridge.
The team offer 121 rehabilitative care to elderly patients covering physio, OT and foot health care support, providing an extended range of services that cannot always be accessed via the NHS.
Paula explains why she feels there is a need for the service she offers. She said: “There is a shortfall of appropriate therapy provision for the ageing population by the NHS and Social Services, due to lack of resources thanks to cost cutting exercises being undertaken nationwide. Care providers are being pressured to provide more services to more people and GP’s report patient’s frustration at having to wait for their rehabilitation to start whilst they continue to struggle at home. Research has shown that by providing therapy to maintain or improve someone’s independence, the amount of care time required per day is reduced by 30 minutes * so we know that by helping support patients in this way we can also reduce the burden on the carers.”.