Aileen’s ‘thrilled’ to be walking again!

Aileen was ‘frustrated’ that she couldn’t walk to the dining room herself rather than be pushed in a wheelchair. Read what happened when staff said they’d help her achieve her goal.

Aileen Maitland became a resident at Bennachie View Care Home in Aberdeenshire after having a stroke.

When Aileen arrived, she could only walk a couple of steps at a time when transferring to her wheelchair. Aileen’s goal was to walk to the dining room from her bedroom rather than be pushed in a wheelchair – she was ‘frustrated’ that she couldn’t walk to the dining room herself.

Staff used the Plan, Do, Study, Act improvement approach with Aileen to find out how they can best support her to walk more independently.  They developed a plan with small manageable steps and used the sit to stand test to build Aileen’s leg strength. Each week Aileen was able to walk a few more steps and slowly built this up.

Lynda Watt, Assistant Manager said: “It felt quite big at the beginning as Aileen was only managing a few steps and some of the staff were worried that focussing on getting to the dining room might seem daunting to Aileen.  Being able to break it down helped both Aileen and the staff to feel in control. Having the results of the sit to stand test were really useful to help us all see the difference the exercises and walking were making.”

With lots of support and Aileen’s determination, she built up enough steps to make it to the dining room herself! Aileen said: “I’m thrilled, I like doing my exercises – I’m disappointed if I can’t manage the standing ones every day, I have really enjoyed the moving more often programme and plan to continue my exercises and my walking every day.”

Karen Pizzey, Care Assistant, who led on the work with Aileen said: “I built a real bond with Aileen while enabling her to walk more to the dining room and saw her mood improve. It wasn’t always easy, and I had to support other staff to get on board and feel empowered. As a team we developed charts for recording how much Aileen was doing and key cards to help Aileen do the specific exercises we were using to build her leg strength. I feel I have increased knowledge through working with Aileen and being part of the CAPA programme. Everything is possible – don’t feel that you don’t have the power to improve lives.”

Staff continue to support and work with Aileen to build on her stamina and frequency of walking.

Physical tests

Number of steps

Baseline: (only during transfer to wheelchair)

6 weeks: 30-40 (into the corridor where she would stop for a rest)

Final measure (approx. 6 months): 75+ – now independently walking from her room to the dining room.

Sit to stand

Baseline: 3

6 weeks: 4

12 weeks: 5