Concerned About the Amount & Type of Care for Your Loved Ones?
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
Mary is a 85 year old widower living independently in the community. She receives in home care services to assist her with her shopping and domestic duties as her arthritis and weak knees make it difficult to go shopping and clean the house to the standard she prefers. Mary’s eldest daughter Felicity, pops in a couple of times a week to see her and to make sure she is taking her medication, eating well and keeping up with her light walking routine.
Recently Felicity has noticed the following:
- An increased number of unhealthy food options being purchased during her fortnightly shop.
- An increased number of fresh foods going rotten and items in the refrigerator expiring.
- Slight weight loss in Mary.
- Increased appetite when taken out for a meal.
What Can Be Done To Identify The Reasons For The Changes?
- Felicity can take Mary to her General Practitioner and ask for an annual health assessment to review her ageing needs and obtain referrals for other health services such as dieticians, nutritionists and geriatricians. The annual health assessment can be bulk billed under the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS).
- Call My Aged Care to obtain another assessment on Mary’s care needs. The assessment may pick up on the changing needs and provide an opportunity to request additional services or a higher care package thus providing more hours of care and other support services to manage the new support needs.
- Call Mary’s service provider and ask for a reassessment of her care plan and service plan to ensure Mary’s needs are being addressed and all care staff are following the plan.
- Ask Mary about the foods she likes and whether it would be easier for someone else to prepare her meals for her.
What Services Can Be Put Into Place To Address Mary’s Nutrition?
- Mary’s nutrition plan provided by health professionals can be incorporated into her care plan. The plan can outline key meals, ingredients and routines to assist Mary maintain her appetite and healthy weight.
- Her fortnightly domestic assistance service can be updated to include an inventory check of the foods consumed and foods neglected. This information can be provided to her care manager on a monthly basis to feed back to Mary’s medical team.
- Mary’s services can be increased to include additional social support services where Mary can go out to eat with her friends making mealtimes more enjoyable and appetising.
- Additional hours of assistance can be organised to shop and prepare fresh nutritious meals for her.
Each individual has different needs and wants as well as varying circumstances at any one point in their ageing process. The new delivery of government funded aged care services supports the diverse needs of individuals to be taken into account when planning and implementing support services to help them to remain living independently as long as possible.
Feel free to contact Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions for more information on how we can assist you and your loved ones to remain at home with care and assistance.