September 26th, 2013
It was fall of 2012 when I met Theresa for the first time. I was told that I was going to see a cheerful person who loves going outdoors. Yes, that was true.
Theresa loved to go to different places. But I soon discovered that she would get bored quickly and would often get tired just after a little exercise such as a short walk or just one lap around the Swimplex walking track. She would politely request if we can stop or return to the car.
It was a great joy to work with her and she soon started showing improvement. We started increasing the time we would stay out. The usual places included Waterloo Park, Swimplex, supermarkets and many small trails in west Waterloo. When the sun would come out after a snow storm, Theresa’s eyes would light up and she would ask for a walk in any nearby park. With the winter clothes on and all bundled up from toes to head, we would go out happily. She discovered that she felt better after spending some time outdoor, breathing fresh air and the change of scenery. I soon started noticing that Theresa would always look forward to the days when we met.
I was glad to see the slight but certainly noticeable change. On the days when there were blizzards, we would prefer to stay indoors yet engaged in some light physical activity such as walking on the Swimplex walking track. Initially she used to complete just one lap. This went up to two rounds in few months and now she can easily do three rounds. Occasionally we would spend some time at Waterloo Public Library where Theresa loved to explore the internet. She would often browse the websites of her interest such as religious activities and wonderful places on earth. Soon the winter was over. Now the spring was around and nature started wearing colours. There were more days of sunshine. We started going more to Waterloo Park, taking a walk along the lake. Theresa loved watching the animals at the zoo. During the summer we were happy to explore a few wooded trails in Waterloo.
Today Theresa is really enjoying going outdoors, saying hi to people and making new friends. Her activity has increased in both rigour as well as time duration. She has been feeling better and it is really a great joy to see her fantastic progress. She is more fit and happy. I am proud that as part of the Extend-AFamily we could make this possible.
Story by Chaitali M.
EAFWR Support Worker