Stories from people at Level 1
Below are some stories from people who are keeping active during COVID-19 by doing activities relevant to Level 1. Level 1 on our website includes people who feel unsteady turning or reaching out, walk slowly, use a walking aid, have medical conditions that limit activity, and/or get assistance with housework and other activities such as shopping.
My name is Lesley and I am 83 years old. I live at home with my husband and am the primary carer for him.
I have always been active and kept busy with family activities with my large family. Several years ago I had a flare up of severe back and leg pain that resulted in a couple of weeks in hospital, and limited me to very short distance walking inside with a wheelie frame. At that stage I worked on a home exercise program most days to help with my balance, strength and posture, which gradually helped me to walk without the frame inside, and to get back to some of the activities I enjoyed away from home with the frame.
Over time I stopped the home exercise program, but had also commenced a weekly Pilates class with a physiotherapist which I have continued doing with my husband until the Coronavirus restrictions were put in place. I noticed quickly that without the Pilates program that my standing up and walking seemed to be deteriorating, so I have restarted some of the home exercise program I was previously doing which seems to be helping again.
I do find that the regular exercise, through the Pilates class or the home exercises or both, do help to keep me able to maintain my walking and balance to keep me doing many of the things I enjoy to do especially with family, although within the limits of my ongoing pain and walking problems.
I’m Richard, a 93-year-old retired farmer.
In my 60s, during a bushfire on my farm, I suffered burns to 50% of my body. I had a pacemaker put in 18 months ago. I live on my own and have always enjoyed being active.
Last year I gave up bowls but still water and prune my garden, walk perhaps one kilometre a day using my walker and do exercise sessions with a personal trainer at home.
I feel better when I exercise and it is important so I can stay fitter physically. If I didn’t exercise, I might lose the use of my legs and arms. Ever since I had a pacemaker put in, I think it is important for my heart to exercise.
I’m Judy and I’m 82. I had a kidney transplant in 2003 and am very lucky that it is still working well.
I’ve always enjoyed walking and I have carers twice a week who take me to Centennial Park to walk there (with a wheeled walker). On other days I can walk around the sunny, private courtyard outside my flat. I also have a physio visit once a week and do the exercises she sets me every day.
Your attitude will determine how well you do - so try to keep positive, avoid focusing on health problems or discussing them too much and know that you can improve. It might not be a lot, but if you can get up and down, get in and out of cars and move in bed more efficiently, you will enjoy the difference.