When osteo-arthritis in his knee forced Beau Thompson (64) to walk using crutches, sometimes spend the day bedridden and finish working he was surprised to learn that being active would help.
His overall health and wellbeing was further complicated by the fact he has also had Type 2 diabetes for over 20 years.
Returning to Aotearoa from Australia Beau started exercising with a friend to try and lessen the pain associated with his arthritis and was introduced to Te Kupenga Hauora - Ahuriri's Stanford Self Management Programme Facilitator Faryn Ngawaka who recommended Beau complete the free 6-week programme. The programme is designed to help participants better manage their weekly sessions covering topics such as setting an action plan and problem solving through to dealing with emotions, breathing, medication and health literacy so whānau know how best to work with health professionals. “I've been to many presentations (courses) but I found Faryn to be really bubbly and knowledgeable." The education and strategies gained help whānau cope with and thrive regardless of their conditions. "It gave me something positive to look forward to every week," says Beau.
His experience on the programme has led to fantastic results. Beau’s visit to the diabetes nurse before attending the course showed his diabetes was "out of control," but a few months afterwards Beau has turned that around thanks to practicing what he learned on the Stanford Programme and ongoing Whānau Ora support from Te Kupenga Hauora - Ahuriri. Not only that, the crutches are gone too, with need for only occasional use of a walking stick. "I've got a really good understanding of my conditions and I know my body much better. My wife has also seen a real difference."
In 12-months Beau has lost 26 kilograms and is positive about the future. "Life is good. You really can achieve anything."
The Stanford Self Management Programme and Whānau Ora support are free. If you or your whānau have a long-term condition contact Te Kupenga Hauora – Ahuriri today on 835 1840
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