“I don’t think I would have made it through the Home Care Package waiting period without Feros’ Short Term Restorative Care Program”
How STRC provided the home modifications and assistance necessary for Maggie to remain living independently.
Like many Australian seniors, Feros client Maggie* has one key goal; to maintain her independence and continue living in her own home for as long as possible.
Navigating various health conditions, Maggie’s GP referred her to the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). She was thrilled to discover she had been approved for a Home Care Package (HCP) but as there was a three month wait, a Feros Care Short Term Restorative Program (STRC) was recommended.
This tailor-made eight-week program proved to be the perfect solution to ‘bridge the gap’ during this waiting period, providing the interim assistance required to achieve her end goal.
Maggie is a cheery, articulate, and engaging 76-year-old living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“I have COPD plus a dicky ticker and dodgy kidneys, so I find myself out of breath doing even the most basic things,” she says.
For health reasons, she stopped driving some time ago and spends a lot of time at home with her two cats. Besides her beloved feline friends, Maggie lives alone so having a safe and functional layout, assistance with mobility, and ease of access to the items she uses most are at the top of her priority list.
Meeting these needs was imperative for Maggie, not just to remain living in her unit but also to improve her quality of life.
Setting the wheels in motion (literally!)
One of Maggie’s first requests was a more user-friendly wheelchair.
“I don’t use it 100% of the time yet, but the one I had was heavy and I was exhausted every time I had to manoeuvre it,” she recalls.
“The one Feros organised is so easy to manipulate and put up and down, and it even seems much sturdier despite being so light.”
In addition to the wheelchair, Maggie’s STRC program also enabled her to access a handy indoor walker.
“I call it my trolly dolly,” says Maggie with her big, infectious smile. “Now I can walk from the kitchen to the couch with my meals, and I can make my way over to the kitty litter, place it on the tray, and take it to the bin.”
Knowing that she can move between living spaces with a reduced risk of falling over has also resulted in a big shift in Maggie’s state of mind.
“Your confidence is affected as you get older and lose certain abilities. You think ‘oh I can’t risk that’ and then stop moving which makes everything worse, so this has been a very welcome addition to my day-to-day life.”
The small home modifications helping Maggie stay safe…and sane!
The occupational therapist engaged through Maggie’s STRC program suggested some simple home modifications which have proven to be highly effective.
As her meals are sourced from a meal delivery service, having safe and easy access to her microwave is imperative. With the microwave set up high, a new shelf sitting lower on the wall was created with appropriate anchorage.
“I needed to stretch to get whatever it was on my plate into the microwave, which really took my breath away. Then there was the risk of dropping the hot food on to myself when I brought it out.”
Now Maggie can easily reach her meals, saying “pulling them in and out is a breeze.”
Her wellbeing manager also arranged installation of a ‘grab rail’ for the shower. This assists Maggie when moving from a standing position to sitting on her shower stool, also organised through her STRC program.
These simple modifications have not only reduced the risk of injury, but also significantly eased her stress levels.
But wait, there’s more…
As part of her personalised Feros Care STRC program, Maggie also received a tip kettle which enables her to operate the kettle and pour a cup of tea without the weight.
In light of her kidney problems, she also spoke to a dietician for advice on an optimal eating plan, plus consulted an exercise physiologist whom she found “really really helpful” to build awareness of her weak points and suggest exercises to help.
Finally, she was also issued with a personal alarm so that if she does happen to fall, help is just the press of a button away.
“I couldn’t have done it without her”
Maggie has so much praise for her Feros Care wellbeing manager, complementing her expertise, client care, and willingness to go the extra mile.
“Her input and knowledge were invaluable. I was able to tell her ‘this is the problem I have’ and she would just run with it and fix it.”
“She really is so committed to helping her clients in any way she can. She’s made the transition into my HCP so smooth, and I couldn’t have done it without her.”
In Maggie’s words, “I don’t think I would have made it through those extra couple of months waiting for my HCP without Feros’ STRC program. I would have fallen in a physical heap and gone gaga!”
She emphasised how daily life has become less taxing, and that the program has provided a pathway to achieve her overarching goal; to stay in her home.
“It’s changed what I can achieve and shown me that there is lots of light left in my life.”
Click here to find out more about how a Feros Care STRC program can help you or a loved one.
* Name changed for privacy reasons