When Keith, a retired computer engineer, first went into a retirement village he spent his days enjoying the company of others and involving himself in various social activities. Eight years on, Keith’s health had deteriorated, and his family were concerned.
“As Dad declined,” says Alison, “we noticed a real change in his physical ability and were concerned for his safety. He was struggling with his memory also, and he would sometimes forget to eat or take medication.”
Keith was assessed by a geriatric specialist who told Alison he would need in-home healthcare support. When Alison approached aged-care agencies, they recommended Visionwest.
“When we contacted Visionwest they were very proactive. Within days, a needs assessor had visited Dad, determined what support service he needed, and arranged for carers to visit twice a day – every morning and every evening. It was
a huge relief to us as a family.”
Although Alison lives overseas, she has, like many Visionwest Home Healthcare clients, come to know some of Keith’s carers by “Facetiming” her father over dinner time.
“I’ve got to know one or two of the carers really well and think it’s wonderful that they are interested in my dad as a person not just a client. Recently, when a close friend of Dad’s had to move to a dementia unit, Dad was left feeling rather bereft and very lonely. His carers would sense when he was feeling down and take time to chat with him and or take him for the occasional walk around the village.”
Alison recognises the value in having the same carers calling at the same times each day. It means Keith recognises them and responds to them.
“Having someone checking on my father every day like the workers do is such a comfort. If there is something happening that needs some attention, they will advise their supervisors or contact one of the family. That brings incredibly peace of mind to everyone in the family.
“The reality is, if not for Visionwest, Dad would not be in his own home and would lose the independence he currently enjoys.”