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Pete (and Blue) reap the benefits

Written by Stacy Griffiths, Health Coach with integratedliving

Client Pete Richards is not one to shy away from hard work. At 77 years young, he’s been the caretaker at Nhulunbuy Surf Life Saving Club in the Northern Territory for the past 20 years. Pete keeps the grounds impeccable under the careful supervision of his loyal cattle dog ‘Blue’. 

Last October, Pete made the decision to commit to a major goal to improve his health and lifestyle – to quit his 60 year smoking habit. Under the guidance of integratedliving’s Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) program, a psychologist and his support network, Pete focused on forming new habits and was able to quit smoking on day 21 of the eight week program.

“It’s probably been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but it’s all in the mind. I was able to achieve it and I’m very proud of myself.  I’m so grateful to the STRC program and particularly my integratedliving Health Coach Stacy Griffiths, who has been a wonderful advocate, helping and encouraging me,” said Pete.

Pete survived polio as a young child and for the majority of his life has walked with a limp, as well as dealing with compromised balance due to muscle wastage and a deformed foot on his right side. Pete has endured numerous uncomfortable and impractical foot braces over the years and had resigned himself to the fact that he would always feel unstable when walking. Under the STRC program, Pete was able to fly to Darwin and have 3D scans of his feet for custom made orthotics designed to help him with his balance. Both Pete and his podiatrist were extremely pleased with the fit and the immediate improvement to his gait. With a beaming smile Pete reports “I can now walk comfortably and without hesitation and I have every confidence in my walking ability.”

The STRC program also provided aged care funding for physiotherapy sessions twice a week to work on reducing pain in Pete’s shoulder and focus on his balance and increasing the muscle mass on his right side. Pete has made fantastic improvements in his strength and endurance testing. He also chose to add extra fitness sessions into his week and enjoys a daily 6am walk with Blue whilst alternating with exercises in the pool.  

Now Pete walks with a new level of confidence and has a healthy glow. 

“The best part of the program is that my mental and physical wellbeing is so much better than it’s been for many, many years,” said Pete. 

The same might be said about Blue dog too!

Find out about our STRC program