Confidence through continuity
The past four years have been quite the roller coaster for Glenese Gray as she navigated both the declining health of her husband, Rod, and her own growing health challenges.
Alongside many medical professionals, Carinity Home Care continues to be a pillar, providing Glenese care, support and confidence as life takes its twists and turns.
Carinity first started supporting Rod and Glenese in 2013 with fortnightly cleaning, subsidised through the Government’s Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
In 2018, when Glenese was scheduled for open heart surgery, they engaged Carinity Home Care to take over as Rod’s primary carer. In those early stages, Carinity provided a full range of support and coordination of Rod’s care under a Government-subsidised home care package.
“After talking with a number of providers, we chose Carinity Home Care to support Rod with personal care and getting him to doctors’ appointments, as well as gardening and house cleaning,” Glenese said.
“While Carinity had been providing us cleaning for five years, we chose them because they really understood the Government-funded process, and how to ensure Rod could receive all the care he needed.”
Unfortunately, just two months after Rod’s support from Carinity Home Care was put in place, he passed away. Recognising Glenese would still need some of the support Rod had previously been receiving, Carinity stepped in and guided Glenese through her own home care assessment process.
This ensured continuity of her house cleaning and gardening through a Government-funded home care package.
The familiar, trusted faces of Rod’s Carinity carers provided Glenese so much more support than just help at home. They have been the cog keeping the wheels moving during a very challenging time.
“Tammy was Rod’s main carer, and she continued as my carer. I really couldn’t have got through that time without her – she helped me no end. She knew me well and never missed when I was teary, or when things were getting hard for me.”
“One day Tammy came in and could sense something was up. I was overwhelmed trying to get through the volume of paperwork for my upcoming surgery. Tammy stopped everything, sat on the ground next to me, and together we worked through the paperwork on the computer. She got me through that moment and moving forward,” Glenese said.
Since Glenese’s heart surgery Carinity have evolved her support as her situation changed, ensuring she remains living independently and safely at home.
Twelve months ago, Glenese made the decision to stop driving due to her intermittent blindness.
“The Carinity team always said that when I didn’t feel I wanted to drive anymore they were always here to help me. While I miss the independence to pop down to Bunnings to buy a plant, I am grateful that Carinity are always there, willing and able to help when I ask for something extra,” she says.
As Glenese focuses on sustaining her health, having Carinity collect scripts from the chemist, taking her to specialist appointments, and her weekly trips out to the supermarket has lightened the weight of staying on top of everything.
Onica, Glenese’s carer, visits her every Wednesday. They enjoy each other’s company and always start their time together with a chat and catch up before Onica drives them across to the local supermarket.
“Onica is easy to talk to and having her with me at the shops gives me enormous confidence to be out. At times I can feel giddy, and it’s good to know I can just stop and know Onica is there to take over when I need her.”
According to Carinity Home Care Brisbane North Coordinator, Libby Groening, Glenese’s changing circumstances mean she will soon benefit from an upgrade to her home care package.
“When the additional funding becomes available, she will be able to access more services to do things she enjoys but hasn’t been able to do. We have worked with My Aged Care to prioritise access to the additional funding and expect it to come through soon.”
And the allocation of additional support will feel just like Christmas for Glenese.
“Last week Onica helped me buy some clothes online. But what I’ve really missed, and really want to do again when my upgraded package is available, is to just leisurely walk through the shops and stop and have a coffee.”
Read more stories from Belong: Summer 2023 | Edition 28