“One of the reasons I went with Australian Unity was because of my long-term care worker Kyle. I’ve got a really good relationship and trust him. He’s very polite.”- Coleen Fynn, Australian Unity customer.
- Home care customer Coleen Flynn commenced services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) after a stay in hospital, but soon after realised she needed extra support to continue living independently.
- Coleen’s Australian Unity care team also noticed some little changes that indicated she could benefit from upgrading to more support that comes with a Home Care Package.
- The additional support Coleen receives on a level two Home Care Package means she has more time to spend on her on her joy of scrapbooking and remain actively involved in running a local fibromyalgia support group.
- The main benefits of a Home Care Package is it offers a wider range of services, a higher level of funding and people can receive more regular support.
- Our team are experts when it comes to Home Care Packages and can explain how home care services work and help you apply for government funding.
Aside from a short stint in Queensland, Coleen Flynn, 85, has lived around the Grafton and Dorrigo areas of northern New South Wales her whole life. Her late husband Billy, whom she married when she was 21, once managed farm properties in the area.
She now lives in South Grafton with her live-in carer John and receives regular support from her Australian Unity care team, her daughter Deborah and her other three children
Coleen has had a series of health issues over her lifetime – including fibromyalgia, breast cancer (a double mastectomy) and a hip replacement. Fibromyalgia has been a constant in Coleen’s life since before she can remember and often exacerbates other health issues – making it hard for Coleen to recover from illnesses and to do regular day-to-day things around the house.
After a stay in hospital for a hip replacement, Coleen applied for support through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and was approved for small amount of domestic support which was delivered by Australian Unity. “I received help around the home with cleaning, and they came for one-and-a-half hours a fortnight,” remembers Coleen. But as time went on, the cleaning in between these visits, plus doing her own cooking and getting out to the shops got harder for her to manage.
Benefits of upgrading to a Home Care Package
Coleen’s Australian Unity care worker of six years, Kyle Small, also noticed little changes too “over time, I could see that Coleen wasn’t able to do as much around her home as she use to and may benefit from accessing more support”, says Kyle.
Kyle spoke to Coleen’s Service Coordinator Megan Ruska, who met with Coleen and her daughter Deborah, to review her current services, talk about her needs and goals and discuss the options of applying for a Home Care Package.
Megan says, “one of the things we notice is that the minimal support offered through the CHSP can sometimes not be enough as people get older and their needs change. That’s when we usually recommend an upgrade to a Home Care Package.”
The main benefits of a Home Care Package is it offers a wider range of services, a higher level of funding and people can receive more regular support”, says Megan.
Coleen says, “I appreciated the chats I had with Megan. She was really great at outlining the process and benefits of more support.”
Megan was able to guide Coleen and Deborah through how to contact My Aged Care and assisted them through the application process.
Coleen was approved for a level two Home Care Package and said the decision to choose Australian Unity to deliver her services was an easy one.
Experienced and dedicated care team
‘One of the reasons I went with Australian Unity, was because of my long-term care worker Kyle. I've got a really good relationship and trust him. He's very polite,” Coleen says.
Deborah adds ‘it’s also Kyle’s attention to detail and the care he takes in his work. He also makes time to chat with Mum and he is very respectful and caring. I like that.”
Australian Unity carefully choose their care workers and provide extra training and coaching, so that their customers can feel at ease when they are in their homes.
Working as a care worker with Australian Unity for the past six years, it’s evident that Kyle loves the work he does. “I've always wanted to help people. So, it makes me feel good that I can support people in different ways.”
Since she’s upgraded a Home Care Package, Coleen now enjoys a wider range of services. Her fortnightly cleaning services became weekly, and she now receives gardening and lawn mowing and was able to get a VitalCall device that contacts emergency services at the press of a button.
Kyle has noticed a change in Coleen’s overall wellbeing too. “She's a lot more relaxed. It's like she feels a bit more relieved that there's extra help there if she needs it now.”
The additional support Coleen receives on a level two Home Care Package means she has more time to spend on her on her joy of scrapbooking and remain actively involved in running a local fibromyalgia support group.
Coleen’s advice for others is to ask lots of questions, “so you know what is available to you.” She is also happy knowing that if and when she needs it, the extra support is there.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest.