Imagine facing Christmas ill, alone and with no roof over your head.

This was the reality facing 69-year-old Feros Care client Ken Grainger, who was given notice from his real estate agency that his rental in Hervey Bay was due to be demolished, instructing him to vacate his home of many years just a few weeks shy of December 25.

Having only recently been discharged from a hospital stay, Ken had the added complications of reduced mobility, the care of a medium-sized dog and finding a new rental property within his means as a single pensioner.

Ken became a client of Feros Care during his transition from hospital to home and, upon learning of his housing situation, his Community Support Worker (CSW) Amanda Allen appealed to Feros Care Wellbeing Manager, Cheryl Rayner, for help.

Ms Rayner said it became their personal mission to see Ken in a new home before the holiday season.

Ken-Grainger-with-his-dog,-Raffey-and-Feros-Care-Community-Support-Worker-Amanda-Allen
Ken Grainger with his dog, Raffey and Feros Care Community Support Worker Amanda Allen

“Amanda worked tirelessly for Ken, going over and above to help him with all of his additional needs due to a lack of mobility, as well as advocating on his behalf on many instances in efforts to find him a new home,” she said.

“I approached local services, including Seniors Legal, the Department of Housing, Rent Connect and the area’s real estate agents to help find a suitable home, but the clock was ticking.

“Eventually I inspected a home in Maryborough that fell within Ken’s budget, was on a single level, and allowed Ken to keep his beloved dog.

“So I drove the round trip from Maryborough to Ken in Hervey Bay that same day, completed the rental application form and found out soon after that he’d gotten the lease.

"Ken moved in just in time for Christmas!"

Ken has now well and truly settled into his new digs in Maryborough, and said he is incredibly grateful for all the help he received.

“I’m very lucky that Amanda still travels from Hervey Bay to see me each week, and I have another Feros lady who visits weekly,” he said.

I want people who may be in the same situation I was in to know there is help out there.

“I’m just so glad I met Amanda and Cheryl."

The support Ken has received from Feros Care has meant his mobility has increased significantly, he’s now able to take his dog for a walk every morning, and often joins his CSW’s on the weekly grocery shopping trip.

Ms Rayner says it’s the perfect example of the benefits of ‘re-ablement’.

“Unfortunately Ken had no family or friends in the local area who could advocate on his behalf, so if it wasn’t for our efforts, he would have ended up living on the street,” she said.

“It’s so heart-warming that Amanda and I were able to help turn Ken’s housing nightmare into a dream come true.

“It was not even a question to have the dog rehoused because Ken would just be lost without his dog Raffey – that’s his companion.

“These kinds of outcomes make what we do so worthwhile; it gives us such satisfaction to go over and above for people who would otherwise suffer.”

Feros Care provides a range of in-home care and wellbeing programs for seniors and those living with disability - from help with looking after a pet, to doing the groceries, exercise classes and going out for social occasions.

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