Last year, The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home (QAHH) which cares for physically disabled ex-Servicemen and women, was awarded a grant from the Aged Veterans Fund to provide free physiotherapy sessions to veterans aged over 65 living in the local area. For the first time, QAHH was able to open its doors to non-residents at weekends, to help those veterans who need physiotherapy to stay as mobile and active as possible. The sessions, provided free of charge by The Chancellor using LIBOR Funds, were held on Saturdays when the Physiotherapy department is usually closed, and over the last year has welcomed 68 veterans aged between 66 and 96 years old.
Lead Physiotherapist at QAHH, Karan Dhanak explains, ‘When we advertised the service, we found that there are so many local veterans who are really struggling to keep mobile and independent, and who need help with their mobility and pain reduction – basically a helping hand to ensure they can continue to be independent and live at home for as long as possible. Each veteran was assessed to see how we could help them and improve their quality of life and a programme of exercises was established, specially tailored to each individual. Over the six-week sessions that each veteran received, our aim was to improve their mobility, reduce their pain levels and give them exercises so that they can self-manage their condition at home after the sessions have ended.”
Over the course of the year, 68 local veterans benefitted from the free physiotherapy sessions, one being 90-year-old ex-Serviceman, Hadley Norris, who explains, “I was having dreadful problems with my back and had seen many professionals but no one could help me. Then I went to the weekend physiotherapy at QAHH and within one session, the Physiotherapist, Karan, diagnosed scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, and he gave me exercises that I did in the sessions and at home. After several weeks the improvement was amazing. I now have less pain, I stand a lot straighter and can now walk 5 miles, which I have not managed for many years. I feel better from top to toe and continue to do my exercises every single day. I am so grateful that The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home helped me and I no longer feel like a bent old man.”
Elizabeth Baxter, Head of Fundraising & Marketing at QAHH adds, “The feedback from the ex-Servicemen and women has been excellent and everyone has benefitted in some way and for some it has transformed their well-being. Many have reported having less pain and discomfort and many others have increased their mobility and confidence. We are very grateful to have received the funding from The Aged Veterans Fund and it has been a pleasure for QAHH to support aged veterans in our local community.”