Tenant Story – Barbara’s journey back to health

April 8, 2019

In every tenant newsletter, we feature one of our amazing tenants and let them share their story with the community. There are so many fantastic people to talk about, and this time up was the inspirational Barbara, one of Link Housing’s many senior residents. Recently turned 81, Barbara lives independently in Mosman. She grew up near the area with not one, not two, not three… but six siblings!

Well into her 50s she regularly went to Balmoral Beach for an early morning swim. However, at the age of 66, she had to have both of her knees replaced. Soon after she also lost complete sight in one eye, and then 70% in the other. This really took a toll on her active lifestyle and her GP diagnosed her obese and pre-diabetic.

Barbara knew she had to get exercising, so she quickly joined a weekly fitness class and water aerobics class. Since then, she’s lost 20 kilos and is 3 sizes smaller. As she laughed, “Every time I go to put on clothes they are too big for me!”.

“I thoroughly enjoy the fitness I do. The ladies are fun and sometimes we laugh more than we do exercise.”

Not long after Barbara was hit with another health scare when her GP found a malignant tumour. Once removed, she covered very quickly – Barbara puts this down to her healthy lifestyle. “I couldn’t have survived many of the things that I have if I wasn’t fit”, she says. “Not only that but the endorphins you get from exercise makes you more positive about life. We won’t live forever so to me having a healthy mental state is as important.”

Barbara gave us her top 10 health and well-being tips:

  • Get a regular check-up at your GPs.
  • Do a weekly fitness class that is fun and social.
  • Make it work for you. Ask them to modify the exercises.
  • Get outdoors and enjoy nature and fresh air.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and salads.
  • Don’t be shy or ashamed to ask for help.
  • Use your brain – keep it active.
  • Maintain relationships for the connection.
  • Listen to your body when it comes to your food choices.
  • Move at home too to keep the circulation going (Barbara does knee bends and arm raises with weights while she watches TV).

If you’d like to find out more about Link Housing or get involved with many of our group meetings and community events, take a look at the options here.