The changing face of home care

    Research consistently shows that people are healthier and happier when they continue to age in place in their own home.

    There have been recent changes to how home and community care is delivered, as it becomes consumer driven.

    Churches of Christ in Queensland Seniors Chaplaincy Team Leader Peter McRoberts has seen the move of people remaining at home for longer over the past decade.

    “People who were no longer able to wash or cook for themselves would often go into hostels, and then, as they became frailer, they moved into aged care,” Peter said.

    “People are now skipping the hostel. I now see them for short periods of time in a palliative or dementia stage in aged care. Thanks to support, they are remaining in their own home, and their own community for longer.

    “It’s a meaningful and important change for an individual’s wellbeing, as they can remain around what’s familiar and their support, including that of family or a neighbour,” he said.

    Maurice Kingston receives community care from Churches of Christ Care so that he can continue to live in his home. Maurice receives the highest level of care, a Level 4 Package, which includes meal preparation and washing and ironing six days a week. At 98 he is still living an abundant life.

    “This is my space, all my junk is here, my computer is here, I can have the radio on the station I want,” Maurice said.

    “Doing it with you, not doing it for you” is an important mindset of helping people like Maurice stay at home, according to Occupational Therapist Sandra Smith.

    “We are really looking at what people can do rather than what they no longer can,” she said.
    Sometimes, according to Sandra, it may just take fresh, trained eyes to help people think of their abilities rather than focusing on their disabilities. A common example is gardening.

    “Many seniors we see living in their own homes do not have the physical ability to get out in the backyard.”

    By moving plants into pots on a veranda and keeping tools at table height, these simple changes can help people continue to enjoy their passion.

    Churches of Christ Care’s Home Maintenance and Modification Service team and Occupational Therapist work together to ensure people can perform activities in a safe and
    well-designed environment.

    “It may only be a small change we are making to a person’s home—a grab rail that can help them in and out of the shower, or a frame that can help them get on and off the toilet—
    but the impact on their life cannot be underestimated,” Sandra said.

    And for people like Maurice, it means they can continue to live happily, in their own home, with their own belongings, for longer.

    See how home and community care can help you or a family member.

    Posted July 6, 2017 in Seniors blog