January 31, 2018
Prior to attending the Lifestyle integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) program, Sussex Inlet resident, Frank Lahene, had experienced 7 falls over a 4 month period. Some of these falls had resulted in trips to the Emergency Department, tendon damage and even re- stitching of his carpal tunnel surgery. Since completing the program Frank has not experienced any falls. “I still occasionally become unbalanced when I am distracted but now I can stop myself from falling," said Frank.
Franks wife of 57 years, Beryl, says she is more confident with his abilities: “In the past if I went out and Frank didn’t pick up the phone I’d be worried that he had fallen again, now I don’t think that."
Frank joined the program after his grandson saw the flyer on a student placement at the Nowra headspace centre. He signed up ‘straight away’ but thought that other men might be reluctant if they are used to ‘being their own boss’ and would rather not have to rely on other people. As a retired truck driver this is certainly the case for Frank however, he has found tremendous benefit to joining the LiFE program. His advice to other men who are
experiencing falls is that you ‘owe it to yourself’ to get involved.
The Free 7 week LiFE program run by Grand Pacific Health consists of simple strength and balance activities, which are incorporated into everyday routines.
As well as improving his balance Frank reports a greater understanding of the how to prevent falls, “I think about my walking and understand the importance of lifting my feet," said Frank. Frank has also noticed he can get out of a chair without using his arms, and can manage the stairs easier - especially coming down.
Thanks to his hard work in the LiFE program, Frank can now concentrate more on enjoying the company of his children and grandchildren. Frank and Beryl are very excited to have their first great grandchild on the way.
As the only man in the Ulladulla LiFE group Frank described himself as ‘a rooster among the hens’. When asked if he minded being with a group of 10 women he stated that he didn’t because the program facilitator and other participants made him feel so welcome and everyone learnt from each other.
When we asked Frank how we could improve the program, Beryl was quick to interject, wanting to know if we can help with getting Frank to help more with the housework. Sorry Beryl, we can’t work miracles!
The LiFE program is funded through the South East NSW Primary Health Network COORDINARE. To find out more visit www.gph.com.au.
Suite 1, Ground Floor
336 Keira St
Wollongong NSW 2500
PO Box 1198
Wollongong NSW 2500
Phone - 02 4220 7600
Fax - 02 4226 6489
PO Box 513
Bega NSW 2550
Phone - 02 6494 8800
Fax - 02 6494 8855