“As long as I can stay at home, I will.”
Joan Griffith’s statement is a sentiment shared by the majority of older Australians whose health may be declining, but desire to live at home remains strong.
Hoppers Crossing resident Joan, aged 82, has been supported with a Level Two Home Care Package (HCP) from non-profit organisation Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) for the past two years.
HCPs are government-funded packages of care services designed to help older people remain living at home for longer.
Joan lives with her daughter Danielle, who has a mild intellectual disability and works part-time. Danielle helps where she can, but Joan – who has severe osteoporosis – relies heavily on the HCP support.
Assistance with housework, transport to the supermarket and medical appointments and the installation of rails and ramps to make her home more accessible have been vital.
“I would struggle terribly without it. I just love my home and I want to be with my daughter. For elderly people like me who want to stay in their home, it’s a wonderful help.”
This month, the Australian Government began its rollout of 10,000 Level Three and Four HCPs in a bid to stem rising waiting lists of up to 18 months for these higher care packages.
Around 63 per cent of VMCH’s 1,152 HCP clients currently access Level Two (lower level) packages.
VMCH Home Care Senior Manager Penny Hobson says with the release of higher level packages, now is the time for those requiring additional assistance to remain at home to contact providers such as VMCH or MyAgedCare in relation to an assessment or the waitlist.
“We know navigating MyAgedCare (government aged care information website) can be overwhelming and confusing so we can help in terms of making this a much easier process. Our Case Managers also sit down with HCP clients and help them to understand what services they actually need.”
Joan says support from her HCP Case Manager Belinda Smith is “wonderful”.
“I just ring up whenever I need something and she sorts it out for me.”
If you would like some more information on help at home with VMCH, call 1300 919 850.