Social Prescribing – Doreen’s story

Doreen was referred to St Austell Healthcare Social Prescribing and now wants to tell her story about how they helped her improve her lifestyle!

“I live alone now, a widow. But I have always been very active with sport, cycling and walking.

I looked after elderly relatives and friends in the past. I was always well but I fell, my knee gave way and I was flipped into the bath and couldn’t get out. This was at 2am in the morning.  I managed to grab a bath sheet on the side to cover up and keep warm and I was there until 2pm the next day when fortunately my gardener came in and called an ambulance.

“I injured my right side, broke my ankle and was in hospital for 10 to 12 weeks. I received marvellous attention there.

“I was there longer possibly because I live alone. My ability wasn’t there after the accident plus the arthritis in my knee meant I battled to get in and out of cars so I was more isolated.

“Hayley was the one that kicked it off as she suggested joining the health walks. This made me realise that anything is possible, that I could get back closely to my old self.  

“The help at the walking groups is great. There’s no pressure, wonderful company, a good welcome and I can enjoy other people’s company while walking. It’s so good that you don’t even realise that you are exercising.  It’s most enjoyable, always a laugh but beneficial at the same time.  I have a walker but today coming here I didn’t use it, just my stick. Each week I find I can do more.

“I can now use the stairs instead of the lift. I haven’t been able to use steps for years. Hayley helped me to focus on healthy eating and losing  weight (I’ve lost two stone) and going on the walks has given me back my life! 

“It amazes me, the help I have had from the NHS. Everyone is in great demand and overworked but I always get full help.

“I also went from pre-diabetic to non-diabetic. It’s so important for the body to be active. If you sit around, one bad habit leads to another.

“I have a friend in Lostwithiel who is part of the barbershop with me. She also has knee problems and increased weight. So, I have been encouraging her to join the walk with me and meet other people as she has been looking after disabled daughter.

“Social prescribing  has helped me and given back my life so I want to help others and give back too”.