Real Care Stories: Ability Care
At Home Instead, we believe in empowering one’s ability.
We support people living with a disability or progressive health condition such as Parkinson’s Disease or Dementia to continue living independently in their own home.
Personal care is available for everyday tasks you may need support with, such as showering, dressing and toileting. We can also support with meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation, 24 hour care, respite care and palliative care services. Our trained and trusted CAREGivers offer specialised care and companionship in a way that is right for you.
Bob’s Care Story
“I just forget about the Parkinson’s and keep on keeping on. I keep fit and we go for walks every day.”
Bob is about to celebrate his 75th birthday but has no plans to slow down – exactly the opposite! Bob has just resumed his beloved golfing habit and is back hitting golf balls twice a week with a little help from his new Home Instead CAREGiver, Janine.
Two years on from Bob’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, Bob and his wife Liz were beginning to wonder what life would be like with a little bit of help. They made some enquiries with Home Instead in Auckland and now Janine takes Bob out twice a week.
As Bob’s main carer, this means Liz has been freed up to have some much-needed time to herself, which she says has been a wonderful result.
Here is Bob’s story:
“Life’s pretty normal for me, to be honest.”
“I’m fortunate in that I only have to take a few pills but at this stage I don’t have too much trouble. I have a lovely carer in Janine, and she’s been helping me get to the golfing range and the golf course twice a week. It’s great.
“We do nine holes, and Janine is my caddy if you like. I really enjoy it because I’ve always liked playing golf.
“I had a stroke three years ago and I find it difficult to walk on my own, but Janine helps me get out and about. She’s prepared to do anything, really.
“She comes with the car and she takes me to the driving range. I’ve lost quite a bit of sight but I just ask Janine, ‘Was it straight? Was it to the right or the left?’
“She gives me the guidance I need and I can’t ask for much more than that. I really enjoy playing golf.
“Janine is a very, very nice person. She takes me to the barber. I don’t make life very easy for my wife Liz, so it’s nice that she can have a break. It works well all ‘round.
“We live in an area where everything is pretty close. So Janine and I go for walks to my medical appointments and we sometimes have lunch out.
“Life is very, very good. Home Instead has been excellent as far as I’m concerned. We didn’t want to look at any other options because I want to stay living at home.
“We just need a little bit of assistance and it’s working well.”
Liz’s Care Story
“We are so much better off with care at home. We just wouldn’t be able to cope without Home Instead.”
It’s been 40 years since Liz was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but that doesn’t stop her from going caravanning once a month with her devoted husband Ian.
The Brisbane pair travel for a week at a time, visiting places like Canungra, Tewantin and Mullumbimby, often staying in the showgrounds or using caravan parks as their base to see the sights.
Ian cares for Liz during these trips, but Home Instead CAREGivers now visit Liz when she’s at home, to help relieve the pressure on Ian as her full-time carer. It also means Ian can devote more time to planning their next big trip.
Liz is really happy with the quality of service from Home Instead. She says the home care she receives has made all the difference to her life, as well as Ian’s.
Here is Liz’s story:
“I was a typist and aged just 36 when I was diagnosed with MS. It was quite a shock, but I can probably trace the symptoms back to my 20s. I gave up work and didn’t drive again.
I’ve been in a wheelchair now for 35 years, but Ian and I still love to travel. We don’t always go far, but it’s nice to have a change of scenery.
I don’t let MS stop me from getting out and about. We usually stay at the showgrounds wherever we go, and then Ian drives us to see the sights.
We’ve been members of the Sunshine Caravan Club for over a decade. We’ve got a small motorhome now, which saves a lot of lifting in and out of bed, because the bed is right there.
Ian helps me get in and out of the chair as well. He holds my knees with his knees and lifts me. Some parts of my body aren’t going as well as they used to, and I have some sagging on my left side, but I’m lucky to be still going strong. I’m 76 and I consider myself very lucky to be still travelling as much as I am.
Staying active has definitely helped me deal with MS. It’s not ruling my life.
We’re in Oakey at the moment. We go to all sorts of different places within 200 kilometres of Brisbane. Staying on the road helps me avoid moaning or complaining! I also like the people we travel with, the other people in the Club. They’re nice people, and we’re all playing Mahjong tonight.
When we’re home, the Home Instead carers come in, they’re very nice girls, they do everything they can. If you ask for something, they look after it.
They help me shower, they do the housework, and they cook for me. It might not sound like much, but it makes a huge difference to us.
We tried another very big company a couple of years ago, but Home Instead is much better. They are a smaller group of people, which I like. The other company didn’t really listen to what you said.
The two CAREGivers I have now, I’ve had for a couple of years. If I have a query, the query is answered straight away. They’re nice people. I’ve been very happy.
I’d recommend Home Instead very much, it’s a good organisation. The girls are good, the people at the top know what they are doing.
You feel special. They care.”
John’s Care Story
“My husband now has a better quality of life. My family and I have been grateful for the excellent care and compassion.”
John was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s several years ago and as John’s needs progressed, he moved into residential care. John missed visiting the places he loved and his wife, Ruth, tried to enable daily outings as she could see how much John enjoyed these activities.
It was becoming more difficult for Ruth to take John out every day and she knew how valuable these visits were John so Ruth reached out to the specialist team at Home Instead to discuss companionship visits for John.
John now has companionship visits for two hours every Monday and Friday. During this time, John’s CAREGivers help him to do some of this favourite things: sometimes this is going for a drive, listening to music, or going to the beach and having an ice cream or a hot chocolate.
Ruth and her family expressed how “grateful (they are) for the excellent care and compassion and the thoughtful way in which this happy outcome has been achieved.
“I fully recommend Home Instead. All the staff I have dealt with have been courteous, kind and professional. My husband now has a better quality of lifestyle.”
Here is John’s story, as told by his CAREGiver Michael:
“It is an honour to be a part of John’s care. At times, John shines brighter than the sun, affecting everyone around him, including me.”
“I have had the honour of taking John on social outings twice a week. We vary our outing destinations regularly between Barwon Heads, Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff. We always include light physical exercise and social interaction.
“Often, friends of John’s pop up everywhere. John is highly respected for his gentle nature, surfing and swimming achievements and his involvement in the Point Lonsdale Boardriders’ Club.
“John is also known to the café staff of the places we visit, who treat him respectfully, always saying hello with a smile and chatting to him. John on occasions responds to conversations with him, directly. He has come a long way in how he interacts with others; initially it was almost no response.
“John is now getting into and out of the car mostly (not always) with minimal assistance. John responds very well to positive environments, interaction and praise for achievement.
“When walking with John, I always walk on his left side. I take his hand and keep it horizontal as I do my own. I talk through the changes in surface, or obstacles, or people traffic, before we get to that change. It somehow seems to prepare him mentally and allow him a few seconds to adjust and keep moving forwards.
“We walk every outing, from 500 to 1000 metres, depending on where we park. John is becoming much more relaxed in mobility, walking continually on and through many different surface types, grades and inclines, and steps. John does often walk with his head down, however, lately he has been looking up and around during travel, before returning to looking down.
“I can see John is benefiting positively from his outings. At times I see gains, I then see decline. I see tears and I see triumphs. John relishes being affirmed, encouraged and praised for his efforts and achievements.
“It is an honour to be a part of John’s care and to support him through his wins and losses. John is very much trapped in his illness, needing 24-hour care. Yet at times John shines brighter than the sun, affecting everyone around him, including me.”
Dianne’s Care Story
“My Home Instead CAREGiver Emma takes lots of stress and worry away from day-to-day living”
Dianne, 74, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 and also lives with scoliosis. As such, she experiences chronic pain and now needs to use a walker due to her reduced mobility.
Dianne was finding it increasingly difficult to complete everyday household tasks and needed assistance with this as well as support to go shopping and maintain her social activities. Dianne was unhappy with her previous in-home care provider and after researching alternative providers, she chose Home Instead.
Dianne has three visits a week from her CAREGiver, Emma, who helps with cleaning, shopping and taking her to her social activities.
Dianne also attends the monthly Home Instead Client Enhance lunches with her CAREGiver: “Going to the Enhanced lunches lets me get out and be social with people, spending time with friends. I even ran into someone I hadn’t seen since dancing with him in discos back in the 80s!”
Here is Dianne’s story:
“I was with another care provider and wasn’t happy with them, so I enquired with several other providers. Home Instead were by far the most professional from the providers I spoke to. They showed everything to me in black and white. What was covered, what services they could offer – it was all really clear and easy to understand.
“The carer they sent, Karen, and I actually became close friends. She’s a lucky duck and now glamping around Australia with her husband, but we still keep in touch.
“I’ve now had Emma, my CAREGiver for 18 months, and I really couldn’t be happier. I know I can rely on her to get the things done around the house that I can’t anymore.
It really takes a lot of worry out of my life, which is great because I can focus more on things like managing the Parkinson’s Support Group that I set up and run from my home.”
“Home Instead are always accommodating. They’re truly lovely people, and I’m more than happy to recommend Home Instead to people I know – and I have many times in the past!”