Jean’s story

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November 25, 2015
Jean’s story

Never say can’t

Jean was brought up never to say “can’t”, in spite of a lifetime of pain and disability.

Jean 450 x 253

Health challenges

At age 6, Jean contracted scarlet fever which affected her hearing and led to bone infections. Now in her 80s, she is profoundly deaf, and has osteoarthritis in all her joints. “I spent many years in hospitals, supposedly dying. My parents were told I would never reach the age of 20.”

A full life

Jean’s limited mobility has not stopped her leading a full life, with support from Enliven. Two support workers come early every morning to help get her up and dressed, returning at night to help her to bed. Describing herself as “fiercely independent”, Jean makes her own meals, shops, and has an active social life, getting about in her electric wheelchair. She even made a trip by public transport all the way across Auckland to visit the Enliven office.

Grateful for support

Enliven’s support makes a big difference to Jean’s quality of life. “I couldn’t do without it. My support workers’ encouragement and practical care gives me the energy to get on with living. I try to make the most of every day and every moment.”

“When I was young and all through my life I’ve had the policy that there is no such word as can’t.”