DAVID’S STORY – Increased independence and fitness sees David soar
Deaf Aotearoa’s Hauora service has helped make a substantial positive difference for David Clark, who has been Deaf all his life.
While living in a motor camp in Hawke’s Bay several years ago, David’s family began to notice he had more and more facial injuries with little explanation. Tests showed that David had been experiencing severe blindness with no sight at all in one eye and limited sight in the other. His facial injuries were from falls with no safeguards or supports in place at home. Acknowledging the extent of the situation, David agreed to seek assisted living options that would help make his day-to-day life more comfortable, safe and accessible.
Lee Bullivant from our Hauora team became involved and immediately supported David with an assessment and action plan – not only to ensure important safety measures were put in place, but to also make sure he has as much independence as possible to live his life. First, David moved into his new home, Otatara House in Taradale, where he can get the best access to regular in-home support. Through a Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) assessment with the Ministry of Health, Deaf Aotearoa helped David secure crucial safety equipment, including a specialised doorbell, pager, flashing light, and bed shaker that lets David know when someone is at the door or if there is an emergency.
The equipment also helps allow for personal privacy, which is important to David.
“I love the specialised Deaf equipment because the staff now know that if they need to pop into my room, they need to press the doorbell.”
Implementing a comprehensive approach to his life goals and practical support, Lee worked with David to maintain a greater level of personal fitness, starting by signing him up to Pettigrew Green Arena Gym. Areas in the gym were identified for where David can do a workout safely without falling over or bumping into things. Despite his relatively short sight, David has learned the safest walking route to and from his home and the gym for his twice weekly sessions. He has also developed his own training plan alongside gym staff.
David is now a regular and they continue to jointly identify any potential safety risks.
“I have been going to the gym for over a year now and I am loving it because it’s helping me become more independent and I’m constantly learning how to use the equipment and clean it properly afterwards.”
When the gym closed during lockdown, it didn’t hold David back – he made good use of weights at his home instead. Saying the 56-year-old was thrilled to see the gym doors reopen is an understatement.
David continues to receive ongoing support from Lee and the Hauora team.