Get Fit with 6: Eighty-four year old stays active to preserve her mobility and independence
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Virginia Rochelle spent 30 years teaching in Pender County schools and has served as a Burgaw town commissioner.
Now she’s enjoying retirement but has made it a point to keep herself busy and active. Rochelle gets up every morning at 5 a.m., does some meditations, goes for a walk outside, or if the weather is bad, she jumps on her stationary bike.
Rochelle knows to live the way she does, she needs to be able to do things on her own.
“I’m very independent. I take care of all the things here at the house. I don’t do yard work anymore because I fall sometimes,” said Rochelle.
Rochelle had quite the scare a few years ago when she went to her backyard and fell by her porch. She lay in a puddle of water for about an hour before she managed to get up.
“I was able to get a grip on the side and carry myself by holding back to the front and when I got to the front I fell flat face down and I hollered and when I hollered my neighbor heard me and he came out and summoned someone from across the street to help get me up,” said Rochelle.
Rochelle would find out in the hospital that she has neuropathy, so a physical therapist came to her house to go over what she needed to do to safely live in her home.
“For everyday life to be able to do the basic things you need to do like get up and out of the bed, get dressed, get something to eat just to be able to take care of yourself on just the basic level,” said Talisa Bannerman-Lee, DPT, a physical therapist at Novant Health.
Bannerman-Lee has known Rochelle her entire life. She used to watch her walk around the courthouse when she was in middle school.
Now, she helps her work on lower extremity strengthening, upper extremity strengthening and mobility. Rochelle has stairs in her home so they also do exercises that focus on strength and balance.
“Exercise, eating properly, challenging yourself that’s all important to having a good quality of life especially as we get older,” said Bannerman-Lee.
Rochelle has this advice: don’t let age be an excuse.
“Do you want to feel better or do you want to complain? I choose to feel better. I get up and move. I do what I need to do. And I feel good basically every day. I really do. Just be active no matter what your age. And find out what you can do and do it and do it to its fullest,” Rochelle said.
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