How to enjoy life at home independently
As you grow older, your health and wellbeing can either be managed well, or managed poorly and is often the difference between remaining living independently in your own home, versus needing to move into an aged care residence.
Government-funded Home Care Packages are designed to manage the progression of ageing by providing help at home – targeted services and assistance to ensure seniors are supported to live independently.
Feros Care Wellbeing Manager Monique Gorham says like anything to do with your health, ageing requires close monitoring and careful maintenance so potential problems can be addressed before they become an issue.
Home Care Packages provide help at home to people over 65 and can range from housework, gardening and transport, to physiotherapy and nursing.
Monique says help with cleaning your house may seem simple but it can be life changing.
“Something seemingly innocuous like no longer being able to clean your house can lead to problems down the track with health and safety,” says Monique, who has a long history in community nursing and supporting seniors.
Don’t wait to get help
“Getting help early is the best way for seniors to remain healthy and safe in their own homes.”
Monique, a Registered Nurse who supports seniors on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, says people should feel comfortable to ask for help when they first need it and recommends starting the process of applying for a Home Care Package as soon as something becomes a struggle.
How to get help
The first step is to contact the government’s My Aged Care Team to organise an assessment that will determine what level care you require. Our expert team at Feros Care can support you and guide you through this aged care assessment and application process.
Monique says when people are being assessed they have a tendency to play down their difficulties so she often doesn’t start working with people until they are on the verge of going into residential aged care.
Put pride aside – get the help you deserve
Monique says it’s important to put pride aside so you can get the help you deserve.
“A lot of people try to ‘solider on’ but we strongly advise against this as it may delay your approval and therefore your access to help,” says Monique.
“If you are frank about how difficult things can be you have the best chance of the government recognising you need assistance and being put on the waitlist for a Home Care Package.
“From someone on the ground who works in the community every day I see the benefits of people accepting a little extra help at home before they are in dire straits.
“Often by the time people have their Home Care Package approved, or even apply for it, they are in real need and often need substantial assistance.
“If we’d been able to help them earlier, their progression of ageing would be more controlled and they would most likely be able to remain independent for longer.”
Once approved for a Home Care Package, seniors can choose a provider, such as Feros Care, to deliver the services they need, giving them choice in how they’d like to spend their allocated funding.
As a Feros Care Wellbeing Manager, Monique creates a schedule of services to meet each person’s individual needs.
With 30 years clinical experience Monique has a lot to offer as a coordinator of care.
“It’s a special privilege to be in a position to make people’s lives easier,” says Monique.
“I do an assessment the moment I walk in the door or answer the phone so I can move quickly when people need an intervention like some short, sharp services or programs to improve their situation.
“For example if someone has had an injury we can ramp-up their allied health services to help them to regain their mobility, or prevent them from further injury or mobility loss.
“We can also provide aids and equipment to stay safer, and offer home exercise programs to increase strength and balance.
“My nursing background also makes it easy for me to have those difficult conversations with people who may be embarrassed or protective of their dignity.
“There is no judgement in my role. At the end of the day, I am here to keep seniors as independent and enabled as possible so they can live in their own home and environment.
“People don’t want to relocate because of health or medical reasons. Their home is where they want to stay and I am here to do everything in my power to make that possible.”
For more information about Feros Care Home Care Packages, click here.