Jan 07, 2019

Joining Forces To Keep Vulnerable People At Home

There is something special about being at home.

The combination of familiar sights and sounds provide comfort and sanctuary from the unpredictable rigours of the outside world.

Although the size and shapes of dwellings may differ, the essence of a home is defined by the feeling that it brings out in a person once the door closes behind them. Home- is wherever you feel comfortable enough to truly be yourself.

For most Australians, independence is a freedom that is derived from your ability to leave your home, but for elderly Australians and those currently living with a disability; remaining at home can be the most important factor in maintaining a level of personal independence and freedom.

Having the ability to remain at home gives vulnerable Australians the opportunity to retain their sense of individuality, which is something that can diminish significantly in the confines of a hospital or residential aged care setting.

Residents of care facilities have the highest risk of becoming prone to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can have a major impact on their mental and physical health. Whereas remaining at home promotes self-sufficiency, which can have a positive impact on overall wellbeing and lifespan.

There are a range of services available to assist your loved one in their endeavours to remain at home, but the process involved in acquiring those services can be confusing.

John Carroll, Joint CEO of Omnicare Alliance has spent many years helping both elderly and disabled Australians remain in their homes through a variety of different home care services in the Mid-North-Coast area of NSW.

After years of toiling alongside peers, he decided, along with his now Joint CEO, Raymond Gouck, that the best strategy to allow the vulnerable to remain in the own homes would be to join forces with a number of fellow human service providers to make things easier and more accessible to those that need assistance.

“Initially, I was the CEO of Meals on Wheels, and after years of delivering food to those in need, I noticed that we kept running into other service providers who had the same type of clientele that we did.”

“Some of the clients we shared were facing horrible personal circumstances, and it became very clear that the confusion around what services were available, and also how to access these services, was a massive problem.”

“That’s when we decided to join forces and form Omnicare Alliance, to try and be one single point of contact for all services. We started off as an alliance between Meals on Wheels, Hastings District Respite Care ( HDRC services) and Hastings Home Modifications and Maintenance Services, but over time we have evolved, and now offer more services than we did working as three separate companies,” said John.

Sadly, a number of elderly and disabled Australians require assistance in a number of different areas in order to maintain their independence and stay living at home. But the information regarding all the assistance services that they may be eligible for, can be hard for these people to obtain.

Those currently struggling with the deterioration of aging or complications due to disability, often require modification in order to be able to access many of the simple things that people take for granted. And this is the same approach that John has used for the services that Omnicare Alliance offer.

“These people don’t need additional stress, they need someone who can empathise with what they’re going through and guide them through the process of knowing what’s available and make it happen for them. And that’s what we set out to do,” said John.”

“We have employees who have over 3 years worth of training operating our concierge service and helping to streamline and simplify the process of providing vulnerable Australians with the services that they need. As well as a number of social inclusion activities and group outings to ensure that these people are living the best quality of life that they can.”

“Our services include things like delivered meal services and support for grocery shopping, as well as in-home 1on1 support and home maintenance and modifications. Mowing the lawns and gardening might not seem like a big deal to most people, but these small maintenance jobs are concerns for our clients just like anyone else.”

“We have 6-day respite centers that are specifically focused on dementia, and we are extremely proud to offer in-home support for people with disabilities, including those living with acquired brain injuries.”

Fortunately, the vast majority of these services are government subsidised and allow Australians with very little financial means to access them. And according to John, Omnicare Alliance offers their information free of charge, regardless if a client uses their services or not.

“If there is a human service that we can’t offer a client, we are happy to find that service for the individual. And if that person doesn’t want to go through us and would prefer to use another service provider altogether, then that’s ok too. It just makes us assess what we could be doing better in order to help,” said John.

“At the end of the day, all service providers want the same thing, and we are willing to join forces with anyone and everyone to ensure that vulnerable Australians get the services that they need to stay at home. Our collective goal needs to be making these services high quality and as easy to access as possible.”

For more information on Omnicare Alliance services visit https://omnicare.org.au/

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