How Aspire4Life helped Angelika feel safe again after her accident

At 67 years old, Angelika felt like she was leading a full and satisfactory life: she lived with her beloved son and her four-legged friend, Dolly the Pekingese puppy.

While her age was beginning to complicate some elements of her life, she still happily attended her quilting group, and she didn’t feel limited in what she could do.

That was until last December, when an accident changed everything.

“I took Dolly out to the front yard one afternoon. Unbeknownst to me, the gate had been left open, and when she started walking towards it, I tried to stop her from getting out onto the road. I don’t really know how it happened, but as I chased after her, I slipped and fell on my left side, just missing a pole.

“I felt okay at that moment, until I tried to get up – that was when I realised that I had a terrible pain in my left hip. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon and I knew my son was not going to be home until 5:00pm. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, but I didn’t know what to do. So I stayed put and screamed and screamed, trying to get someone’s attention.

“Finally someone walked past and I asked him if he could help me, to which he responded: ‘oh, I thought you were just playing with your dog.’ Imagine that! Luckily, he ended up getting a neighbour and the two of them helped me up and onto a chair, and then called an ambulance for me.”

An X-ray showed that Angelika had broken her left femur, after which she was transferred to a hospital and waited for an operation that kept being pushed back.

But the stroke of bad luck didn’t end there. Not only did she have to spend over a week waiting to be operated on, but she also tested positive for COVID-19, leading to isolation on the hospital ward too.

“They finally ended up doing the operation on Christmas Day – what a present!”

Angelika then spent four weeks in rehab, before being allowed to go home. Following her return home, she was unable to shower herself, and she was left feeling unsafe and very vulnerable.

While Angelika’s son was happy to manage her shopping, cooking and domestic tasks, addressing personal care and feelings of safety were not within his capabilities.

As a result, Angelika was referred for physiotherapy, occupational therapy and personal care with the help of her Aspire4Life assessor, all of which have since contributed to a reablement plan with her goal being to feel safe and independent.

Over the course of her recovery, she had someone helping her with personal care three times a week and a physiotherapist helping her with exercises once a week.

Angelika has said that she couldn’t be happier with all the services she has received and all persons involved in her progress.

“The services have been wonderful, the physio was great, she gave me exercises to do and she was the one who ordered a new walker for me that fits into the car so I can go to appointments.

“They’re such lovely women, they’ve put an app on my phone so I can see upcoming services, and even changed the ringtone on my phone, so that when they call, I know who it is.”

Six months after the accident, Angelika uses a four-wheel walker around the home instead of a cane at her physiotherapist’s recommendation, and she feels much more confident in her mobility. While she’s mostly back to her old self, she continues to struggle with her confidence outside.

The only time she feels safe and happy to be out and about is in her car, which is why she has gotten into the habit of going for weekly drives.

“Just going for a drive makes me feel so much better,” she says.

“Otherwise I like being at home – I feel safe and comfortable there. I like to play games on the computer, I watch TV, I love reading, and I like to sew. I’m on Facebook too, and I might even join an online quilting group soon!”

As for Dolly, she still gets to walk in the front yard, but with Angelika keeping a very close eye on her – just in case.

For more about how Aspire4Life can support you and help you reach your goals, click here.