Published Monday 10 April 2017
For over 60 years, Betty, 79, has called her residence in a leafy western Brisbane suburb home.
It was the home where her children grew up, family milestones were celebrated and where her husband Ron created a magnificent garden.
When Betty found herself in hospital for six months four years ago and in need of daily care, she never imagined that the care she would receive would not only allow her to remain independent in the home she loves, but that it would allow for the formation of new friendships.
“When I left hospital, I was recommended to use the services of Wesley Mission Queensland. I am so glad; I couldn’t still be in my own home today without them,” she said.
“For over four years, each morning I have had a carer come to support me with daily tasks, including showering, dressing and preparing my medication. Of course, the best part is they also make me coffee and we have a chat – it sets me up for the day.
“Care is such an important part of my life. My day couldn’t start without their support, and it is a real comfort to know that my carers will be there each morning. If I wake up during the night with any concerns, I feel supported knowing that it won’t be long until the carers are here. It’s more like having a friend visit, I look forward to seeing them.
“The care has made a tremendous difference to my life. I’m still independent and I have a fantastic case worker who is responsive to my needs. If I need something, I only need to mention it to my case manager or carers and they will look after it.”
In addition to receiving care in her own home, Betty also has support to remain active in her community and attend her regular appointments.
“Each week I have Jo, one of my carers, come to assist me with my appointments. You won’t believe it, but the first time Jo walked into my house she said “Were you a teacher at Oxley High School?”. I was her teacher many years ago, and now we have met later in life under different circumstances and have formed a wonderful friendship.
“We have our ritual of going out for coffee or breakfast on the same day I have my appointments. We’re regulars at our favourite café so we always get that little bit of extra service. Whenever I go out with Jo, I know she is looking out for me and what’s best for me. She always wants to make sure I feel comfortable and am having a good time.”
The care Betty receives means she spends her days living life her way. Each day she gets to enjoy time in the garden her husband lovingly made, and that her son-in-law continues to tend to.
“I love to sit in my garden and read. My hen, Aggie, always comes and sits beside me and clucks away as if she’s talking to me. She’s a lovely thing and lays me an egg a day! “I’ve had a good life and have a beautiful family I am so grateful for. And thanks to the support of my carers, I get to enjoy my home and my life even longer. They are like my extended family and I couldn’t be more happy.”
In February this year, the government introduced changes to the existing Home Care Packages. These changes have empowered people by giving an increased capacity for choice to receive the care they want, when they want it.
Kris Sargeant, Wesley Mission Queensland Director of Community Care and Inclusion, says the changes are set to make the care we offer even more beneficial for people who receive it.
“It’s a fantastic time to be on a package because you can really decide how you want to use it. Your home care package is yours, and you have the choice to use it how you wish. It could be something like going to the football or opera; we’re here to walk alongside you and empower you to live the life you choose,” she said.
“We really encourage each of our existing Home Care Package recipients to let us know their thoughts about the care they are being provided. Feedback is key, and if you want things done differently, we’re here to help.”
If you would like to learn more about our in-home care services, please the Care in your home and community webpage or call 1800 448 448.