August 09, 2019
Ray battled with depression after an accident in 1987. He remembers being 85 kilograms at the time and soon put on 10 kilograms from what he describes as ‘emotional eating,’ following a very rough patch in his life.
The weight continued to build up until he reached 118 kilograms and was diagnosed with diabetes in 1997.
This led to a series of chronic health problems that he continues to struggle with now at the age of 74.
Ray heard about the Integrated Team Care program (ITC) at Grand Pacific Health from a local Community Elder who recommended the service to him. Ray was ready to make some changes in his life and needed support to attend Ophthalmology appointments in Sydney – a provider that does not bulk bill. His Care Coordinators provided support for him to attend these appointments.
He was also given updated information on diabetes management and the team took care to ensure he was administering his insulin the right way in order to get the most out of his prescription and better manage his sugar levels.
Ray has also connected with all of the programs run by ITC including Koori bootcamp, a podiatry clinic at Jerrinja and aqua aerobics.
“It’s quite incredible, when he first came to us he could barely walk on a walking machine - now he’s doing star jumps in the pool with a smile on his face and cracking jokes,” said Winsome – a Care Coordinator with ITC.
Ray remarked that he’s more active than he’s ever been:
“My mobility has improved, I have a great routine and strategies in place to lower my blood pressure when it’s high.”
“I would have been shortlisted for dialysis by now if it wasn’t for these guys but I’m not in that position now so my quality of life is much better,”
Winsome described Ray as proof of what healthy lifestyle changes can do to manage chronic health conditions:
“Ray has come such a long way, there was a time where losing both his legs to diabetes was on the cards but today they look very different.”
“These days we are concentrating on preventing a fall and subsequent hospital admission for Ray - understanding that balance and eyesight are an issue for him.”
“As a result, we are working on leg strength activities and he has been really proactive in taking these messages onboard and actioning them, which is great,” added Winsome.
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