Loving the life you live with Carinity
“When you get older you feel like everything is going downhill, but with the right support and care, suddenly you’re back on the uphill,” says Carinity Home Care client, Linda.
For years Linda has managed ongoing mobility challenges, and the uncertainty of debilitating flare ups, caused by her rheumatoid arthritis.
“Some days the only way to get down the stairs was shuffling on my bottom. And simple things like vacuuming the house would be a week-long job. I’d move myself around in the office chair, only able to vacuum a room at a time.”
Linda’s move to a retirement village six years ago was a fantastic decision, and one she wished she made earlier. A smaller house and yard to manage gave Linda more time to enjoy the new community of like-minded seniors she’d joined.
It was during one of her hydrotherapy sessions, however, that she found the additional piece of the puzzle to living life!
Muddling through the maze
It was Linda’s hydrotherapy support team that first mentioned My Aged Care and the government subsidies for seniors’ support services, including her hydrotherapy sessions. Buoyed by her conversation, Linda called My Aged Care to learn about the funding she might be eligible for.
“There is no denying it – My Aged Care is a confusing maze that you need to muddle your way through. There are so many different codes, funding types, programs, and supports you can access.”
Due to Linda’s chronic disease, and her daughter no longer being able to support her, she qualified for a full range of services through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). She gained access to funded support for occupational therapy, podiatry, domestic assistance, garden and home maintenance, meals, transport and social support.
While finding different providers, with availability, for each of these services was mentally exhausting for Linda, she describes the support she eventually received as a complete blessing.
“It is hard to ask friends and family for help. I hated to ask my family as I felt like a burden, and I want my friendships to be based on connection, not around the help I needed. Plus, my friends are all around my age, so it was getting harder for them to help.
“I’ve found it so much easier to ask carers and professionals for extra or different things – it’s just a normal part of their job and day,” shares Linda.
Moving to a Home Care Package
Following a reassessment of Linda’s support needs, she qualified for a government-subsidised Level 3 Home Care Package. Moving on to the package enabled Linda to continue the full range of support services, will full coordination and budget management by a single provider.
“The flexibility I have with my services really meets my needs. Having a single budget makes it so much easier for me to keep track of what is being spent on what services. Plus, having a Coordinator who manages and schedules all my services takes a lot of pressure off me,” Linda says.
While awaiting assignment of her home care package, Linda came across a brochure for Carinity Home Care in her letterbox.
“As I was looking for a package provider, I called Nihara, Carinity’s Home Care Coordinator in Logan, to discuss the support and services they could provide.
“Other providers only wanted to speak with me once my funding came through. Nihara, on the other hand, came out to my home and we discussed what care and support I would require. She walked me through the budget tool, as it was different to the payment process for the services I had under CHSP.
“I switched to Carinity for my cleaning service, and when my package funding came through, I chose Carinity Home Care to manage my care and support,” Linda says.
The Carinity difference
“I feel confident with making suggestions, and never feel bad asking Nihara for extra things. Nihara always makes me feel like it’s normal to ask for help and does her best to make things happen,” Linda says.
“She works closely with my doctor, staying up to date with any changes to my health, ensuring the support I receive is suitable to my health and wellbeing needs.”
Carinity ensures the services Linda receives from her Home Care Package budget are provided by her preferred suppliers. She maintained her existing cleaning and gardening contractor and her strengthening program has recently been approved to provide subsidised services.
“My Carinity carer, Lexi, comes to help me every week and we have three hours together. We do whatever I need or want to do – anything from going shopping, pharmacy or post office visits, and medical appointments.
“Lexi is so much fun, and our time together is a laugh-a-thon. Over time, the more we have got to know each other, the more fun we have together.
“The familiarity of having the same carer is so good. She’s also young so I have the confidence she can do the things I need help with.”
Living life has never looked so good for Linda. The last year has been full of learning new skills, purpose-filled experiences and lots of fun.
Linda celebrated her 70th birthday with 70 family and friends, joined by over 200 village residents, dancing the night away to a Scottish-led band.
Keeping her mind and body busy, and following her love of aromatherapy, natural products and science, Linda started a course in making homemade soaps, moisturisers and massage oils.
She’s brought that passion to other village residents who have joined her in the classes and has sold her homemade goods at the village markets, choosing to donate all proceeds to the charity Orange Sky.