Meet Wei Wang, one of our passionate Life! facilitators
Wei has 10 years’ experience as a registered intensive care nurse and works as a nurse educator at Monash Health NaMES (Nursing and Midwifery Education Strategies).
What do you enjoy most about running the Life! program?
Being a Life! facilitator is exciting and rewarding. I really love being in a role that allows me to support, coach and share knowledge and information with other people.
Over the last four months, I’ve been running CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) groups via Zoom, and I thoroughly enjoy listening to the participants’ discussions and hearing their ideas. I love empowering them to make the lifestyle modifications that are most appropriate for their own circumstances and culture.
How has it been supporting participants during COVID-19?
It’s been particularly rewarding during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the co-facilitators and I are very glad to see that the Life! program can provide psychological and emotional support.
Most of our participants (or their family members) experienced the stress of COVID-19 in both China and Australia. To quote a participant, “We played the first half in China, and now we are playing the second half in Australia.”
Peer support from Life! program participants during lockdown is even more valuable, especially for CALD groups – their social life, which was already limited by the language barrier, is even more restricted.
Could you share any particular success stories?
One participant that comes to mind is a gentleman who had a heart attack last year. He has to sit at a desk all day at work and his diet isn’t ideal because of that. He’s really keen to change his lifestyle but isn’t sure how to do it.
We had a great discussion about keeping active while having to stay at home. It was fun and suggestions included ping pong, tai chi and square dancing. This discussion and the activities helped this gentleman and also the group members – being active has such a positive impact on people’s sleep, energy levels and mood.
What are some of the common challenges your participants face?
Changing your lifestyle is easier said than done. Every participant has a great deal of life experience and, when they start the program, they tell you that they know what’s good and what’s bad in terms of their health and their lifestyle. Some participants think that life won't be very enjoyable anymore if they live a totally healthy lifestyle.
As the sessions progress, they start to realise that small changes can make a huge difference. And then they can actually feel that difference. This makes them more open to new ideas and motivates them to be more active during and after the session.
How do you keep fit and healthy?
Like all nurses, I’m walking all the time on a shift. You can easily do 10,000 steps a day, so that helps a lot. I also listen to nutrition and physio sessions and apply the tips and strategies I get from those to my life.
Sometimes I make healthy choices subconsciously and don’t even realise that I have. For instance, I used to have fast food for lunch at work, and now I automatically prepare some fruits and veggies and bring them to work. I was delighted by my colleagues’ reaction to that: “Your lunch is DISGUSTINGLY healthy!”
Contact us today to find out more about the Life! program and your eligibility. Call 13 74 75 to speak to our friendly team.