There are times when home care workers need to do more than provide essential cooking, cleaning, and personal care services to support older people to thrive at home.
HammondCare at Home (HCAH) care worker Margot Keeley quickly understood her 89-year-old old client Maureen Strauss needed help with loneliness in a new city to improve her quality of life.
After losing her husband of 68 years, Maureen made the huge decision to move interstate to be with her son Johann in the Brisbane suburb of Redcliffe in October 2022.
Maureen said there was no way to explain her sense of loss after Willy died.
Maureen – although still very active – found herself in a new city without friends or connections to her new community. Her son was working long hours and she was finding the isolation tough to deal with.
Maureen continued to use the services of HCAH in Queensland after having previously been a HCAH client in Gosford NSW where she met Margot.
Margot said, “She told me how much she wanted to do more things in the community and connect with others. I was determined to help her.”
After some research, Margot drove Maureen to a place where they could access services that could help and provide some introductions.
The first stop was the local senior citizen’s club to learn about their activities. Then there was a visit to the local bus company to learn about the outings on offer with other older locals.
The two also investigated the local community centre which offers a range of digital courses to learn how to better keep in touch with extended family overseas. Maureen expects to pick up a course in the New Year.
Margot said Maureen is already making the most of her new connections. “It’s put a new spark of life in her – she is much happier,” shesaid.
Maureen cannot speak highly enough of Margot’s thoughtfulness and said, “I think she is the loveliest person doing all this for me.”
HCAH General Manager Bay Warburton praised Margot’s broad approach to addressing Maureen’s needs.
“Home care has to be about more than just ticking boxes – we want to care for the whole person,” Bay said.
“In Maureen’s case, her lack of social connections was holding her back. Margot clearly saw this, and then did something about it by helping Maureen build new connections in Brisbane.
“This is what relationship-based care should look like.”
HammondCare released its Annual Report this month which stated that 1,677 staff cared for 9,940 people in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and the ACT in the past financial year.