Bernie West, who is 90 years old, is a well-known personality around Mercy Village in Wembley, where he has lived for the past decade.
So, when he had a stroke late last year, his ability to get out and about was affected, even after a hospital stay and rehabilitation.
Thankfully he was able to take part in an eight-week intensive program that has helped restore his ability and confidence to go about the things he’d previously been doing before having the stroke.
MercyCare delivers the Short-Term Restorative Care program on behalf of the Federal Government to improve the wellbeing of older people to help them continue to live independently.
As part of the program Bernie met with a nurse and a dietician as well as receiving regular visits from a physiotherapist and occupational therapist to help him work on his strength, balance and fine motor skills.
He’s been able to return to his much-loved bridge club and get out and about with his singing group.
Exercises he was introduced to as part of the program and continues to do, have helped build his strength and balance so he can get out of his unit to walk around the village and collect his own mail.
While the eight-week program has now finished, Bernie is determined to gain back more of his independence and has his sights set on being able to walk to nearby cafes on his own.