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Keeping My Independence

Having that lifeline of just talking to someone that seems to understand what you’re dealing with makes a huge difference.”  

Remaining active is vital at any age, but not everyone has access to community-based programs that can keep them moving. For people like Bonnie, who is partially paralyzed on her right side and living with fibromyalgia, having access to these programs is nearly impossible.

With different surgeries causing an array of complications, she often wakes up in the morning having to decide what pain she will be dealing with that day. Finding ways to keep active and moving were critical to Bonnie keeping her independence.

In January 2020, Bonnie began Acclaim Health’s Home Support Exercise Program.

“The home exercise program has got me back into moving again,” shared Bonnie. “EveryBonnie smiling Wednesday morning, I do the exercises with Leanne, the program facilitator, and continue to do them throughout the week. It makes a big difference, just being encouraged to keep it up.

Our Home Support Exercise Program is a 12-week program where trained volunteers take clients through a series of standardized exercises chosen for their effectiveness by the Canadian Centre for Aging and Activity. Volunteers visit once a week to do the exercises together and provide exercises for clients like Bonnie to do in-between visits.

“There is a recommended type of exercise for me because I am in a wheelchair,” shared Bonnie. “We only do ten repetitions on each side, but I am confident enough now to do more than that when I’m by myself.”

Our team also provides ongoing support to both clients and volunteers throughout their time together and ensures their needs are met the whole way through. The support of the program often goes beyond just the exercises.

“Sure, I get to do the exercises, but it’s just the matter of even talking to someone that cares or is even interested,” shared Bonnie. “It’s a big thing to look forward to. Of course, I can manage a lot on my own, but still, without the program, it would be dark. Having Leanne and the Home Support Exercise Program is a godsend!”

When the pandemic hit, Bonnie’s sessions moved to over the phone. Isolated in her apartment, having these sessions became more important than ever.  

“Just having Leanne to talk to throughout the pandemic has been a lifeline,” shared Bonnie. “Even though I have a lot of friends that I talk to often, it’s not the same as talking to someone that understands what you’re dealing with. It makes a difference.”

The Home Support Exercise Program has allowed Bonnie to stand up and down now easier. It made a significant difference in her arm and lower body strength, allowing her more freedom in mobility.  This progress makes everyday things like going to the washroom, stepping into the shower, or cooking just a little bit easier.

“Life would be pretty dark if I didn’t have Acclaim Health or Leanne’s support,” shared Bonnie. “Even though I have lots to do and I keep busy, it is such a light on that day to look forward to talking to Leanne.”

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