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“I’ll stay with Feros Care forever”: The 8-week program that changed John’s life

John Hobson

Life is full of moments that can completely change everything; sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.

For 72-year-old John, one of those moments happened at work. He was at his desk and suddenly found himself unable to get up and out of his chair for the first time.

A colleague noticed him struggling, helped him and then suggested that he get in touch with My Aged Care. It was what set him on the path to a Short-Term Restorative Care (STRC) program with Feros Care, an 8-week service funded by the government.

An STRC program aims to get individuals moving and retain their independence after injury or illness. Through the STRC program, an individual identifies their goals and lets us at Feros Care know what they’d like to achieve.

This is how John’s life changed for the better, and the steps that were taken along the way.

Ticking goals for John

John is based in Maddingley, a town halfway between Melbourne and Ballarat. By signing up with Feros Care, he had ongoing support from Wellbeing Manager Pam Hegarty, who has been a nurse for over 40 years.

Pam is passionate about creating client-centred goals, based on what the individual wants to achieve. After working in the community for so long, she knows the ideal health model is when the focus is on what a person wants – not just what the medical system wants to give them.

“For John, he wanted a better life. He wanted to be more socially engaged and use technology to his advantage. He wanted to feel safer, to have less falls and to sleep better,” Pam explains.

There was plenty that could be done – and Pam went ahead and took care of it. This included organising exercise physiotherapy, occupational therapy and appointments with a dietitian, to name just a few.

“They’ll get me anything I need to make my life easier,” John says happily. “I didn’t know what was available to me, and they have all the ideas and suggestions.”

It’s the small things that mean the most

There are so many things that can be considered as part of an STRC program, and the eight weeks are dedicated to sorting out as much as possible.

“I’ve seen John on his bad days as well as his good days,” Pam says honestly. “We did everything we could to change his life and give him more control back.”

This included a more comfortable chair – “the chair now lifts me up and throws me out if I have trouble getting out of it!” John mentions – as well as a shower chair and grab rail.

Pam also arranged an iPad for John, as well as access to our online community – the Virtual Social Centre, so that he could join everything from virtual bingo to discussion groups from the comfort of his living room. Plus other tiny things: “John said he wanted to be reminded of the date and time, so we got him a clock that would do so,” Pam adds.

But what really meant the most to John was opening up his world.

“I told Feros Care that I’m in a wheelchair, and I haven’t got a car,” John says. “I like going to my Men’s Shed twice a week, but you know what the weather’s like these days. There was a downpour one day and I couldn’t go home for a while.”

Pam arranged a canopy to go over his electric wheelchair; now John is no longer limited by the weather.

“I couldn’t fault Feros,” John adds. “They say they’re going to deliver and they do.”

The results are there

The numbers don’t lie; throughout his STRC program, John’s wellness score went from 38 to 40, with his general functions score going from 70 to 75. In simple terms, they are very positive changes in such a short period of time.

“John will now be able to keep living in his home as long as he wishes to,” Pam confirms. “He was delightful to work with. It’s always wonderful when you see a client achieving goals – and they were all the goals HE wanted to set.”

John has even referred multiple men from his Men’s Shed to Feros Care, with three others already interested.

“I just tell them that Feros Care is great, no matter who you get when you ring up – everyone is lovely and you can tell they care about you. Even the receptionists care about you.”

“When I go onto my Home Care Package, I’ll be staying with Feros Care. When someone’s loyal and someone’s good, I don’t swap. I’ll stay with Feros Care until the day I die.”

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