Building strength and confidence to master the stairs and more!

For participant Maddy, managing her home’s staircase with greater ease required the right exercise program to improve her strength, fitness and balance and the right clinician who could help build her confidence.

When exercise physiologist Shayna from our Joondalup office first met participant Maddy, who has cerebral palsy, she was struggling to access the top level of her family home and needed to use her arms extensively to climb the staircase. 

So to help Maddy climb stairs with greater confidence and ease and engage more with her community, Shayna created a tailored program for their twice weekly sessions that focused on increasing Maddy’s lower limb and torso strength, her single leg and functional balance, and her confidence in her ability.

Smashing goals step by step

Maddy’s first goal was to independently walk up and down three steps on the staircase by the end of her plan. “Completing this goal would give her greater also help her with accessing her community,” explains Shayna.

Maddy’s second goal was to increase her lower limb strength by achieving 12 sit-to-stand exercises in 30 seconds over a six-month period. “This would also increase Maddy’s community engagement and her ability to keep up with her peers.”

And as Maddy’s third and long-term goal was to increase her ability to volunteer in her hospital role, Shayna focused her program on helping her complete three laps of her local park in just 30 minutes by the end of her 12-month plan.

“Maddy reached her first goal, to complete three stairs independently, and is now working on climbing the staircase independently at home to access the top level with greater ease,” explains Shayna.

Maddy has also achieved her third goal. “Maddy’s increase in lower limb strength and torso stability has helped her to volunteer for longer hours, participate in activities with her peers with more ease, and given her greater self-confidence.”

Building physical and mental strength

Shayna credits Maddy’s determination and hard work in improving her strength, balance, fitness, and confidence.

“Maddy has worked extremely hard during each session to achieve her goals. I’ve really enjoyed working alongside her and it’s been awesome to watch her progress and achieve her goals along the way. I can’t wait to see what Maddy can achieve next, as her confidence continues to increase.”

And according to Maddy’s mum, Maddy is ‘very happy, chuffed to share this story and very pleased with herself’, as she should be!

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