Case Study | Increasing Aged Care Needs For Couples Caring For Each Other
Updated: Mar 13
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
Late on a Saturday afternoon, an apartment building concierge called the building's strata manager to discuss his concerns for a couple residing in the building. The 74-year-old wife, Linda* continued to have falls and her 94-year-old husband, Walter* would call the concierge to get him to help him pick her up.
The call for help occurred regularly.
Linda suffered a rare disease whereby her legs continued to collapse while walking. After a fall, she would refuse medical attention and insist on remaining in the apartment.
At the same time, the 94-year-old Walter had early stage dementia and was also diabetic.
That same afternoon, the strata manager called DR Care Solutions to meet and assess the couple, and urgently determine and implement the right care solution for the couple.
Enabling each other to live independently is fine, to a point. With Linda continuing to fall, Walter was finding it more and more difficult to care for his ailing wife without assistance.
After heavy falls, Linda refused to travel by ambulance and be admitted to hospital. She was adamant about remaining at home though appeared open to accepting some additional care and support from a quality HomeCare Provider.
A neighbour, who was also a friend of the couple, had voiced concerns about the couple living alone and was keen to see support services introduced. He observed that they did not eat well and ate take away fish and chips most nights for dinner.
In this scenario:
The couple had no government-funded services in place and refused to let Centrelink or My Aged Care know anything about them. They feared government authorities and had the financial means to pay for their own care and support services.
They were vulnerable to exploitation.
Linda's children from a previous marriage resided in the United States. She had no nearby relatives and solely relied on her husband.
Their quality of life was diminishing, even though they lived in a beautiful and large three-bedroom city apartment.
DR Care Solutions was engaged that Saturday afternoon and within two days, DR Care Solutions:
Completed a comprehensive care needs assessment of the couple asking them about their wants and wishes. In the process, we sought to understand their reasons for not wanting medical intervention and worked with them to ensure they would be safe and well cared for at home.
Developed a Life Plan© with clear recommendations on what could be implemented immediately.
Established that the couple wanted to pay for ‘fee for service’ quality homecare.
Introduced a quality HomeCare Provider who had carers willing and ready to start providing services that day, within a three-hour window.
Oversaw the services of the HomeCare Provider as they introduced a team of suitably matched carers based on the couple's description of their ideal carers, as outlined in their Life Plan©.
Ensured that the HomeCare Provider put in place an onsite communication book and medication register so that service provision could be tracked by the carers themselves, the service provider and DR Care Solutions.
The couple were able to remain at home with 24-hour care, seven days a week for a four-month period. Sadly, Linda then passed away.
Walter's condition deteriorated and he was relocated into residential aged care. Sadly, he passed away shortly after.
In the end, Linda and Walter were granted their wish to remain at home for as long as possible. During that time of residence, the concierge, strata manager, and neighbour all had peace of mind knowing that the couple were safe and being well cared for by professional carers. DR Care Solutions was in touch with all parties throughout the entire period.
* 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.
Phone: 0418 737 357
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