“Live the life you want, on your own terms”: How Pamela’s home care package is helping her
81-year-old Burleigh resident and Feros Care client Pamela Cook was raised to believe that women were determined, self-resilient and capable.
However, her degenerative spine prevents her from bending or reaching – and it was tough for her to admit that she needed help.
“We were raised to think ‘yes we can do that, yes we can do anything’ so it’s a bit hard when you’ve got to admit you can’t do it,” Pamela says.
“The good thing is there’s plenty of help out there and once you accept it, it’s given with such love.”
Pamela now enjoys working with her care workers as a team to get tasks done and finds the goal setting to be very motivating.
“I can put my bed sheets in the washing machine and take them from the line but my care workers, Christine and Brenda, hang everything out and make the bed for me,” she says.
“I have a similar deal with my gardener – I do the bits I can and he does the rest. It’s nice to still be able to contribute as it’s hard to give up your independence completely.”
How the Feros Care Team has helped
“I help people live the life they want, at home, on their own terms” – that’s how Wellbeing Manager Rachael Stiles describes her role.
As a Wellbeing Manager for seniors on government-funded Home Care Packages, Rachael works with people such as Pamela to determine what they want, what they need and what they dream of. She then collaborates with the Feros Care Team to make those things
“I offer guidance and make recommendations but ultimately I help people set and achieve purposeful goals to support a ‘true’ quality of life,” says Rachael.
“It’s a partnership we are entering into with each client. We are partnering with them to support them to live the life they want and dream of – not just to do their chores for them – and having a goal can really help to ignite
something in people.”
Independence maintained along the way
Rachael’s background is in remedial massage, health and fitness; as a result, she takes a holistic approach to wellbeing and a pragmatic view of home care. This is aligned with our Byron Model of Care, which looks at the key areas of a person’s
life – all the way from the physical and emotional to the social, environmental and more.
“The practical side is easy. If someone says they can’t clean their house, we arrange domestic assistance, but we want to do more than just put services in place, “says Rachael.
“The bigger challenge is engaging people but once that is reached, that’s where we see the big gains.
“If we can engage them in life and their community, connect to their purpose, reignite their passions and collaborate with them to regain or maintain independence, that’s when their quality of life really improves.
Providing care with love
Providing care with love is a hallmark of Feros Care and a big part of the reason Rachael joined the team.
“I’ve always provided care that is people-centred and that’s exactly what Feros Care is about,” she says.
“The ‘grow bold’ slogan is a great catch-phrase but it has a deeper meaning. For me it’s about everyone being able to express the essence of who they are, in their unique way, and not to be held back by circumstance.
“In my role, I look for barriers that may be preventing people from living the life they want and take steps to remove them through supports and services.
“It’s rewarding work and I’m continually learning from others as I collaborate with clients, their families, allied health (such as physiotherapists), nurses and other Feros Care departments.
“It takes a team to help people achieve clients’ goals but when they do, it is life changing and absolutely worth every bit of effort.”