May 08, 2017

The Real Meaning of Consumer Directed Care

One of the Seasons residents is a 94 year old war veteran – let’s call him Nev (he’d be too embarrassed if I identified him). Nev, a sergeant, is a veteran of World War 2, he fought at Tobruk and El Alamein, in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and later trained the ANZAC Para troops before they were dropped behind the lines into Borneo.

Nev is now almost completely blind, and mobilises with the use of a wheelie walker, but is still the staunchly independent man he was 60 years ago.

Nev is “responsible” for his wife, and cares for her every day. Neola is Nev’s life partner, they’ve been married for almost 70 years – at 91, Neola’s health has been failing in recent years but she’s managed a rally of sorts over the last couple of months and the doctors tell Nev he can try her with something a little more substantial, perhaps a boiled egg for breakfast.

Given that both Nev and Neola are in “formal care”, a boiled egg should be pretty straight forward – just boil the egg and feed it to her, right?

Wrong.

Nev is responsible for his wife, always has been, always will be. Nev wants to boil an egg for his wife and help her eat it (not have some carer do it), and that’s exactly what happened.

Sure there are risks, Nev can’t see and is mobility impaired, but what about the dignity that goes with the risk? Sure, it takes extra thought and planning, but that’s what the customer wants – Nev and Neola, they are the customer, they are a single unit. They are proud people, every bit in love today as they were 70 years ago. They’re entitled to determine their own lives as they always have, we are obliged to support them to do so.

“I’m immensely proud of what we do at Seasons – that’s consumer directed care,” said Nick Loudon, the CEO & Managing Director of the Seasons Group.

Choosing Aged Care

Planning for and choosing aged care is one of the most important decisions you can ever make. After all, you want to be sure you are well cared for, have everything you need and you will be happy living there.

Things to consider are:

▪ The types of medical and personal needs required by the individual

▪ The atmosphere and lifestyle they wish to lead.

▪ The staff at the community being considered.

▪ Contracts and fees.

▪ Safety and security.

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