A moving story

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A moving story

For over ten years, BaptistCare at home cared for elderly Wyong couple Neville and Judy Maxwell, enabling them to continue to live independently in a flat above their daughter’s home.

For the loving couple, staying together was the most important thing. A brain injury twenty years earlier had caused a significant decline in Judy’s mobility. For the last two years she required help with movement, bathing and dressing, all while lacking the ability to access the bathroom or leave their home. Her long-term dream was quite humble – to visit David Jones once more.

When Neville and Judy’s daughter tragically passed away, they were forced to relocate. The move seemed insurmountable.

BaptistCare came together to secure a smooth transition into a lovely new Social and Affordable Housing unit at BaptistCare New Lambton. Our At Home services continued to support the couple in their new home, where Judy had easy bathroom access, and enjoyed sitting by the large bay windows overlooking her camellias in bloom.

Judy’s dream to visit David Jones was fulfilled with much joy several weeks before Judy sadly passed away in September 2019. For the At Home team, it was an honour to serve her.

Championing independence

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Championing independence

BaptistCare has partnered with The University of Sydney to trial a new Interdisciplinary Home-Based Reablement Program (I-HARP) to assist our Sydney-based clients who are living with dementia to continue living independently in their own homes.

The individually tailored, cognitive re-ablement program delivered by our occupational therapists and registered nurses aims to improve the ability of our clients to manage everyday activities, and to assist their loved one and carer to understand how to best support them.

BaptistCare at home client, Maureen Fitzgerald hit some serious health hurdles when she reached her late 70s, being diagnosed with a number of life changing conditions which affected her joints, her heart and her memory.

The I-HARP program ensures Maureen receives regular visits from BaptistCare’s re-ablement team of therapists and nurses to help her better manage every day activities, as well as re-engage in activities she may have difficulty doing on her own including light exercises to maintain her mobility and strength.

New name and approach launched

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New name and approach launched

Since the move into an open market, BaptistCare at home has continued to evolve and grow, positioning ourselves as a reliable and multi-faceted provider of home care. Confirming our place as a preferred option for people seeking assistance to remain living high quality, independent lives at home, has involved a solid focus on customer service, as well as ensuring we align with the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

To focus our approach, this year we rebranded our service to BaptistCare at home, and launched our Well-Living™ approach.

This new emphasis champions the message of overall health and wellness of our clients. We believe that great home care is about more than just the basics of helping with personal care and jobs around the home, it is about supporting, enabling and equipping our clients to live their best possible lives.

This includes a wide range of services such as home modifications, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dementia expertise, social clubs and outings, but most importantly, through the very way in which we are working with our clients, looking to understand their strengths and goals and working with them to achieve them.

BaptistCare’s at home approach is proving successful; our Home Care Package program has grown by over 15% in the last year as we deliver high level care to over 2,100 people, along with the basic support we provide to another 6,500 clients.

A determined Katherine

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A determined Katherine

Throughout her life, Katherine Brennan has faced the challenges posed by her cerebral palsy with a mix of good humour and persistence, and now our BaptistCare at home team is helping her embrace ageing the same way.

Despite the challenges of living with cerebral palsy, Katherine has led a full and busy life, managing to live in her own home, hold down a long-term job, write articles for a newsletter and perform in theatre productions.

Now at 73, she is facing the challenges of ageing with the same energy and positive focus. “I have a wheelchair, but I don’t want to use it,” says Katherine. “So, I go for walks and try to exercise. I go to the pool when I can. It’s hard work, but I want to keep on walking.”

We are proud to be supporting Katherine’s quest for a meaningful life by providing transport for her and accompanying her on outings, as well as other support services.

Our BaptistCare at home staff, including support worker Christine, visit Katherine in her home most days and take her on a variety of life-enriching excursions. “It’s absolutely wonderful and has changed my life so much,” says Katherine. “Christine and I are one of a kind. Sometimes we go to a little place where they have good fish and chips, and pancakes.”

While getting out and about is important, Katherine particularly values the respect that Christine provides her. “Unfortunately, some people think that they have to talk down to people with a disability,” she says. “What I like best about the visits from BaptistCare is that I get to have a bit of adult conversation.”

Carers rest and recharge

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Carers rest and recharge

Our fifth annual Carers Retreat in May was an opportunity for unpaid carers looking after their loved ones at home to have a weekend of time out to rest and recharge.

Hosted at the Edmund Rice Retreat in Mulgoa, 28 unpaid carers spent time relaxing, trying new activities, such as virtual reality technology and exploring the natural surroundings.

Danielle Pfitzner, Assistant Manager of BaptistCare at home Western Sydney, believes it is critically important to recognise and support unpaid carers.

“We think it’s really important at BaptistCare to be able to support carers and to basically give them the same level of support that we give our actual clients,” she said.

“Being an unpaid carer is a really challenging role… and there’s actually nothing more important than being able to spend time with people having the same kinds of experiences,” explains Danielle.

Barbara Burton, an unpaid carer for her mother, attended the weekend and shared some of her own personal struggles. “It’s always a worry looking after elderly relatives. Sometimes things go wrong and everything falls apart, you do need that extra outside support,” she said.

The retreat also provided the opportunity for participants to explore some of the important questions around what matters most, what it means to care for others as well as yourself, and how ageing impacts all of us.