A MUM of two from Addingham who changed careers and retrained after 12 years to follow her childhood passion of being a physiotherapist celebrated International Older People’s Day on October 1 having made a life-changing impact on a local elderly gentleman who stood for the first time in 18 months after being told he may never walk again.

Physiotherapist Paula Cooper, who is offering any group or organisation a free presentation and practical workshop teaching how to support elderly people with limited mobility, has seen a life-changing transformation in 87-year- old David Holden, who after hospitalisation lost the ability to walk, and even feed himself.

David, of Burley, entered hospital with a urine infection, but full mobility. Whilst there lost all mobility, resulting in him being unable to pick up a cup himself, feed himself, or sit independently without support. He was most upset by not being able to walk.

Suffering depression as a result and spending most days in bed once he returned to his nursing home, David’s overall health was deteriorating, and his mental wellbeing which had been also been affected by the recent death of his wife of nearly 63 years, was at an all time low. His daughter Penny who was hugely upset to see this decline in her dad didn’t know where to turn. NHS physiotherapists had discharged him saying there was nothing they could do. Then she came across Paula’s new business.

Penny said:”Despite everything Dad is really good at the moment and so positive. He is so proud of himself and what he can accomplish at the moment with supported standing, being able to feed himself for the first time in a long time - take drinks himself and developing fine motor skills. The difference in him physically and mentally is brilliant.”

Paula, 46, said: “David can now sit, eat, and drink independently and stand with assistance - he will be able to walk again independently, this is just a matter of time and we are so close to him being to do this. His mood is up, and he is going out doing activities in his wheelchair. This makes me so happy to see!”

Paula established Moor Therapy Solutions earlier this year and is now teaming up with other local mums looking for flexible working, including Amy, also from Addingham who she met in the school playground. Other team members include Maria from Guiseley, Abi from Bingley, Leigh from Eccup, and Helen from Cookridge.

The team offer rehabilitative care to elderly patients covering physio, occupational therapy and foot health care support.

Paula added: “There is a shortfall of appropriate therapy provision for the ageing population by the NHS and Social Services, due to lack of resources. Care providers are being pressured to provide more services to more people and GPs report patient frustration at having to wait for their rehabilitation to start whilst they continue to struggle at home. Research has shown that by providing therapy to maintain or improve someone’s independence, the amount of care time required per day is reduced by 30 minutes so we know that by helping support patients in this way we can also reduce the burden on the carers.”.

Anyone interested in booking a free workshop on how to support older people with limited mobility, or find out how to help the elderly if they fall can phone on 07736 614052 or email: info@moortherapysolutions.com