After retiring from the Army in 1989, Brian started a small handyman business to stay busy and help out the people in his community. But the years he had spent as a soldier and the hard work he did as a handyman eventually took a physical toll, and after five years of battling various health issues, Brian had to give up the work he loved and, excepting a little pottering in the garden, Brian just wasn't able to get out and about and do all of the things he used to enjoy.
"I became his primary caregiver and sole caretaker of our home," says Brian's wife of 50 years, Susan. "But as I got older myself, I too started to slow down, and I felt I wasn't able to manage the everyday chores AND provide Brian with the support he truly needed to stay living independently at home."
Susan knew she needed help to care for her husband, but was reluctant to admit it as she was concerned that there would be no option other than to move Brian into residential care. All she wanted was to continue to live with Brian in the home and community that they have shared for years, for as long as possible, so she set about doing some research.
"I was relieved to chat to the team at Care Connect and learn about all of the options that are available for in-home care. They were even able to provide support from the get-go by guiding us through our application for a government-funded Home Care Package - that is a definite skill!"
The warm and trusting relationship that Brian now shares with his dedicated Care Connect Client Adviser Karen and his care workers, enables him to stay in touch with his local community - something that Susan simply didn't have the extra time to do: "They drive to the shops to get the groceries, have a walk, and then get a cup of coffee and talk sports-especially cricket!" added Susan.
Karen also helped to organise a plan review and reassessment so that Brian could increase his Home Care Package level, which has provided the additional funding to support a home cleaner and someone to help with light gardening. This also provided Susan some relief, allowing her time for respite and self-care.
"The exceptional care and support we receive from Care Connect is delivered with empathy and respect, and gives both of us the peace of mind and reassurance that we are in the best hands," says Brian.
Speak to one of Care Connect's friendly experts about how YOU can remain at home and connected to your community as you age. Telephone: 1800 370 575. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.careconnect.org.au - mention that you read about us in The Senior!