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Home Care: Paving the Way for Independent Living

Living independently in our own homes for as long as possible is at the heart of our Home Care.

Treating every single person we care for with dignity aligns with our Core Values of Love, Joy and Hospitality. In most cases, the option of living in our own homes is preferred and promotes well-being and independence.

The Australian Government has recognised the needs of older Australians and subsidises packages through the Home Care Packages Program. Since 31st December 2017, there has been an annual increase of 19.8% of Australian’s opting for Home Care Packages, with over 30,000 packages released during the March 2019 quarter.

In July 2017 Catholic Homes had 16 Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) packages, 53 Home Care packages and a handful of residents using the Day Therapy Centre located at St Vincent’s.

During the 2018/2019 Financial Year, 31 STRC packages are now in place and at 90% capacity, equating to approximately 167 clients per year. There are 58 Home Care package clients plus a number of private residents and community based clients.

Home Care’s service extends well beyond the metropolitan area and spans into Mandurah and the Peel region, to Bunbury in the South West and the Wheatbelt, including Brookton, Trayning, York, Merredin, Narrogin and Gingin. There are also plans to expand into the Midwest and the Great Southern regions.

Since the implementation of the Telstra Homecare Manager, providing services to remote regions has become a more viable option. Technology continues to aid Home Care with ongoing new developments such as providing visual and audio support with the use of mobile devices and personal alarms with an inbuilt falls detector, SOS button and GPS tracking.

Kylie Steele, Catholic Homes’ Executive Manager Home and Community Care says, “We don’t discriminate or target any particular culture or community. We will care for anyone who is suitable to receive our services from many diverse backgrounds and cultural communities.” Kylie adds, “Wherever possible we try to accommodate the individual’s needs. For instance, if we have a client who speaks another language we will match them to a carer who is able to converse in the same language.”

The services available through our Home Care continue to evolve and in 2018/2019 they added the Volunteers in Place Service. Similar to a buddy system and under the Community Visitors Scheme, the program brings together volunteers and clients looking for new friendships. Anyone currently receiving a Catholic Homes’ Home Care Package and whose life could be improved by companionship is eligible. Alongside our Montessori approach, we believe in the importance of preventing isolation and loneliness among the aged.

Home Care’s ongoing services include: personal care, community involvement, nursing care, household duties, gardening, maintenance, meals, respite care, cooking, aids, equipment, pastoral care, transport and technology support. Additional services include Short Term Restorative Care (STRC), an early intervention programme available for up to eight weeks designed to help prevent, delay or reverse the need to enter long-term care.

As part of the St Vincent’s redevelopment, the Day Therapy Centre will relocate to the on-site Day Centre and Bebo Moro homestead and will continue to offer Allied Health and Wellness Services including Podiatry, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. “Anyone is welcome to use the Day Therapy Centre using their package funds to receive physio, occupational therapy and the social stimulation,” says Kylie.

Just as Home Care’s services continue to grow, so too does Kylie’s vision. With strong leadership and a dedicated team, Catholic Homes’ point of difference between other Home Care providers is evident in the care and services we provide. Our flexible service is based on listening and understanding our clients’ changing needs and providing a customised service that suits their routine and lifestyle.

It is our privilege to be invited into the homes and entrusted with the well-being of our clients. We take enormous pride in providing a personalised service and it brings us great joy in the knowledge that we’re helping older Australians to remain in the comfort of their homes surrounded by love. As our services evolve we embrace the opportunity to provide Home Care to the wider community for many years to come.