Case Study | Maintaining Independence at 98 Years Old
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
A family were concerned about the increasing frailty of their 98-year-old dad, Robert*, who lived alone in the large family home. The family's financial adviser approached DR Care Solutions to meet with the family to plan ahead.
Robert lived alone. He was cognitively sound and used a walking stick to get around. However, he'd recently had a fall. He managed to get himself up and advised his children a few days after the incident.
Robert was adequately managing his personal care and hygiene and had prepared meals delivered and regular visits from his daughter who lived and worked nearby. His son lived two hours away and found it hard to pop in on a regular basis.
Having recently lost his companion dog, his best mate, Robert appeared depressed and said he had lost his purpose. Both children wanted their father to remain as independent as possible, though also wanted regular welfare checks to ensure he was able to remain at home.
In this scenario, the father:
- Had no formal care or support services and no government funding in place.
- Didn’t want to burden his adult children.
- Wished to remain at home.
- Was extremely fit for his age and enjoyed regular walks to the dog park and up and down hills in his local area.
- Lost his drivers’ licence earlier that year and, since then, relied on others to transport him to appointments.
The Care Solution
DR Care Solutions was engaged and within two weeks, DR Care Solutions:
- Organised a family discussion where Robert reluctantly agreed to the introduction of quality home care support for him to remain at home.
- Completed a comprehensive care needs assessment of the father and arranged registration of him (and his son) with My Aged Care.
- Developed a Life Plan© with clear recommendations on what could be implemented.
- Assisted the family in commencing the My Aged Care process and attended to all the assessments. Initially, a Regional Assessment Service assessment was conducted under the Commonwealth Home Support program. As there was no service availability and long wait lists under the Home Support program, an assessment for a higher level of care, a HomeCare Package, was arranged with the Aged Care Assessment Team. On realising that there were also long wait lists for HomeCare packages, the family agreed to pay for homecare services until a government-funded package became available.
- Introduced a quality HomeCare Provider, registered as an Approved Aged Care Provider, who could manage the My Aged Care funding if it ever came through.
- Oversaw the services of the HomeCare Provider as they introduced a suitably matched carer based on the client's description of their ideal carer, as outlined in their Life Plan©.
- Organised monitoring device technology to enable the client to remain at home with quality care for as long as possible.
Robert remained at home with his team of quality carers in place.
Three days a week a visiting carer would ensure Robert's bedlinen was changed, his laundry done, and that his shopping and a home cooked meal was prepared.
A monitoring device with ‘falls detection’ and GPS tracking was purchased by the family to give them peace of mind.
DR Care Solutions remained in touch with Robert, his family and the HomeCare Provider on a fortnightly basis. He enjoyed the new care arrangements.
Six months on, Robert had a fall out the front of his home and fractured his right femur. He was hospitalised to have his right hip pinned. While mobile shortly after, he had lost some confidence and his cognitive functioning began to decline.
After a period in rehabilitation, the family re-engaged DR Care Solutions to find a suitable residential aged care facility for respite care with a view to permanent residence. After multiple tours of facilities in the desired area, the family decided on a care facility close to the daughter so she could continue to drop in regularly to see him.
In his new residence, Robert is eating well, having regular physiotherapy, social and participating in activities on a regular basis. His overall health is improving and, while sad not to return home, he is satisfied that he is well cared for.
Once their father was settled, the family mentioned that they didn’t realise the degree of stress they had experienced in the past year. They are now so relieved that their dad is safe, being well cared for, and improving daily. Family and friends visit regularly, and a therapy dog visits him weekly.
* Names have been changed to protect the identity and privacy of subjects.
For more information, please reach out to Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place.