Enhanced Lifestyles was established with a clear mission: to support people living with a disability to overcome challenges and live their lives to the fullest. Today, we’re sharing the inspiring recovery story of one of our customers, Gary.
After suffering a stroke in 2019, Gary lost much of his mobility, including his ability to walk long distances, and was unable to use his right hand to its full capabilities. These challenges began to chip away at his motivation and energy; realising that he wanted to regain his independence and improve his capacity, Gary reached out to Enhanced Lifestyles for support in 2020.
Gary started working with Talia (pictured above), one of our passionate Lifestyle Attendants. Talia and her team were totally committed to bringing out the best in Gary, and quickly developed strong working relationships with him.
Now well and truly on his way to a more fulfilling lifestyle, Gary set an important personal goal to maintain a healthy diet by preparing nutritious meals for himself at home. Each week, Gary and Talia research different recipes that they can cook together; putting a collaborative spin on cooking keeps Gary motivated and on track with his goal.
Before his stroke, Gary had led an active lifestyle – he was a keen footballer and worked physically demanding jobs. Losing much of his physical mobility was a difficult hurdle to overcome, but now Gary is determined to become more active so that he can be involved in his community. Though he cannot drive, Kiran, another passionate Lifestyle Attendant on Gary’s team, supports him to attend Pilates classes and physiotherapy sessions, where he focuses on increasing the strength in his legs, back, and right hand. Gary’s commitment to building his strength has led to vast improvements in his mobility and overall fitness levels.
When Gary first acquired his disability, he was hesitant to leave the house and socialise with others. Recognising that social connections can influence positive wellbeing, Talia supported Gary to connect with his community by accompanying him to different cafes, pubs, and tourist destinations in the Riverland. Their activities have included the monthly Enhanced Lifestyles Coffee Clubs, where Gary has developed friendships with many of our other customers in the region.
Talia is thrilled with Gary’s progress, and often reflects on how she and the rest of Gary’s team of Lifestyle Attendants have empowered Gary to transform and challenge himself. “I’ve enjoyed seeing Gary grow as a person. From when I first met him in 2020 compared to now, he is focused, driven, and is really loving life,” Talia said.
Likewise, Gary speaks highly of Talia and the team. “I love working alongside Talia and my other Lifestyle Attendants each week. They all go above and beyond for me by always finding new ways to support my goals. They’ve really helped me turn things around, and I’m fortunate to have them in my life,” he said.
Looking ahead, Gary is eager to do some travelling. He wants to visit his father in Phillip Island – which he hasn’t been able to do for several years due his mobility and COVID-19 – and he wants to plan a trip to Mildura with friends from the Riverland with support from his Lifestyle Attendants. These plans show that Gary’s confidence and capacity has come a long way in the past couple of years.
The Enhanced Lifestyles team commend Gary on his commitment to being the best version of himself, and we look forward to seeing where his journey leads as we support him into the future.