Many years ago I did some Personal Training (PT) with a lady, now 84 – who is utterly adorable!
She called again recently. Although in the winter of her life, she’s in fine fettle, and slight, so I’m
thinking ‘don’t push nutrition too hard. But she’s a little frail at 84, so I’m certainly going to try to help her keep mobile but no more than this. Her main remit was to restore range of movement / strength to her left hand and arm following a stroke but I have no idea yet if this is even feasible from a neurological point of view. As I drive to her Hereford home I have all the time in the world to think ‘what’s left to give her’? I nearly always give at least an hour and a half for a client’s first session and if I’m honest I’m slightly panicking, wondering how on earth I’m going to fill it and make it worth her while. However, I do know this much: always expect the unexpected. I take in the paperwork and we start to rake through it. This sounds a bit ‘dry’ but I’ve systemised it to cover all bases, and the simplest question can unearth the most interesting answers. Jenny and I found we had a lot to uncover. Her nutrition needed a sympathetic overhaul (it’s not the same cooking hot food say, when you’re on your own, and safety is paramount). She really surprised me as I was going to take the ‘soft’ option (is it important to curtail your puds at 84?) well according to Jenny she’d anticipated my being strict and was eager to hear what I had to say! She expected me to measure and weigh her, but this was irrelevant for me. Instead, we discussed her quality of life, how to build some routine back into her day - a stroke knocks you for six in a wider sense than just the physical, (and yes, mobility and some great ideas for her left side). In addition how to help her sleep better. That caught me out. Never assume age brings an easy sleep pattern with it. Two and quarter hours later I left her house with hugs and a deep sense of satisfaction. No stone had been unturned and I felt her quality of life could now improve, especially as she was so receptive to the suggestions made. There are so many components to holistic health – just a fraction here. What might you uncover? (names changed and permission sought to print).