Clients always come first for Telehealth Nurse Beth
In Beth Mahoney’s vast experience as a nurse, the provision of aged-care was mostly reactive; rarely preventative. But since joining Feros Care in 2019 she has enjoyed the proactive approach the organisation takes to managing people’s health.
Beth is the Telehealth Coordinator for our Virtual Care team, currently coordinating the Staying Healthy, Living Well program in Central Eastern Sydney. The program aims to improve the health outcomes of seniors by offering education, coaching and vital signs monitoring.
“I love that Feros Care actively promotes good health and wellbeing and develops tools for people to improve their quality of life,” said Beth.
“As an organisation, we focus on what people can do, rather than what they can’t, and we are always finding ways to innovate and enable people to become healthier and more connected.”
Staying Healthy, Living Well is a free program for seniors, funded by the Central Eastern Suburbs Primary Health Network, that combines Telehealth with vital signs monitoring and mentoring by Feros Care Telehealth nurses to help people understand and self-manage their conditions.
The program was first launched for people with chronic illnesses over 75, but Beth successfully expanded it to include younger, more active people who had more recently been diagnosed with a condition.
“While the program was already a great success for people over 75, I noticed there was a cohort of people who were just reaching their senior years and starting to deal with health issues that would also benefit,” said Beth.
“It is now available to anyone over 65 looking to improve their health, general wellbeing by being open to learning about their health and accepting support which will allow them to better manage their health conditions.
“We work with people to develop and achieve goals, which might be increasing their level of activity or improving their mood.
“The outcomes have been very positive and most participants are disappointed when the program comes to an end.
“Some say they feel like they are losing a friend as they’ve enjoyed the interaction with nurses through Telehealth, as well as the programs and classes available through Feros Care’s Virtual Social Centre.”
Beth said while the social interaction had great benefits there were clinical benefits too, including a reduction in hospital admissions.
“We’re finding that once the participants have an increased knowledge of their condition such as what causes it, what triggers it and how to control it, they gain the confidence to self-monitor,” she said.
“Armed with this knowledge and understanding they take control of managing their own health, reducing the occurrence of unnecessary hospital visits.
“Participants are also more confident with technology. This has been hugely important during Covid-19 as they are adept at using Telehealth and monitoring devices, which has given both the client and the clinician options to overcome isolation barriers.”
Beth said Staying Healthy, Living Well demonstrated the essence of Feros Care’s ethos of empowering people to live better lives. She believes this program should be expanded across the country.
“The benefits are far reaching – not just for the participant, but for the entire community,” she said.
“The provision of good health care should be multifaceted, and this program supports GPs, clinicians and allied health professionals, while giving seniors the power to take more control over their wellbeing and improve their quality of life.
“A healthier community means a happier community and less burden on the health care system. Everybody wins.”