Margaret and David
David’s stroke created more challenges for him and his wife Margaret than only limiting his ability. Caring for her husband isolated Margaret from friends and the community, but with support from the Brotherhood she’s been able to reconnect.
Eight years ago, David suffered a severe stroke that left him paralysed down his right side and limited his speech. Margaret didn’t lose hope. She remembers: ‘I said, “I know him. He’s not going to die, because he’s a really strong person".’
David survived and came home, but Margaret found their social circle growing smaller and getting out and about became more difficult. Many of their friends stopped calling. ‘People didn’t know how to deal with Dave, so they found it easier to walk away, which is quite sad. Just when you need the help most, they disappear.’
Margaret sought help from the Brotherhood Community Care program, which provides services according to need such as domestic help, personal care and health services that help people and their carers live independent lives with dignity and choice.
Says Margaret: ‘We have a carer every morning for an hour. We have a gardener come once a month to do the lawns. Dave has speech therapy on Friday for half an hour. Just things like that make you feel like you’re still in the world – you’re not out on your own.’
Margaret and David are also able to go out more, including to exercise classes that cater for all ability levels and are run by the Brotherhood’s trained fitness instructor at its Frankston High Street Centre as part of the Social Inclusion Program.
This program provides social activities and outings for older people, people with a disability and those managing a chronic illness. Other activities include nature walks, dining out and art classes.
The classes are an activity Margaret and David can share. ‘I love going’, Margaret laughs, ‘cause I don’t get to exercise much myself’.