Bendigo Advertiser Special Publication
The Bendigo Seniors magazine has some great stories, information, a bit of trivia and puzzles too.
Call into the Bendigo Advertiser to pick up a copy, and enjoy the read about our over 55s and the sheer joy they take in life.
Ruth Hosking’s story on the journey towards aged care is some serious reading, and like all of life’s stages, whether you are starting school, or starting to downsize, the challenge is to enjoy yourself and go with the flow.
Here’s a transcript of part of Ruth’s wise advice on how to ~
Map your journey from home help to residential care
Before you start your ‘home help to residential care’ journey, it is preferable to think about it and make a plan.
Know what questions to ask about the service type and its cost, know where you can seek the answers, and move forward with confidence, secure in the knowledge that you are on the right track for you, by using those services which support /help you and in many cases your family.
Like all journeys the age care journey has a starting point and sections between resting points along the way. You can’t think of everything before you start, and there may be some up-hill climbs, then a good run down the hill, and depending on your circumstances, you may need to change your route due to an unplanned event.
A good starting point is to consider our strengths, concerns /needs, preparedness to change, knowledge of stopping points, to think about our route and financial assets and costs options.
Strengths include one’s wellbeing, assets, not only money but family, friend’s assistance/ support already in place.
Needs can include housing, medical issues, equipment / aides, assistance to cope with one’s situation , or coping with the older person who denies any help or considers the journey is not necessary. Needs can also include hearing aides, walking stick/frame, gopher, someone to clean the living areas, possibly shop, prepare meals, shower, and to check the medications are taken correctly.
Preparedness – many folk as they ‘age’, deny their physical decline, don’t realise the support which family is giving them, usually as this support has gradually been provided, become determined to stay at home, as he/she remembers visiting their gran who was confined to bed, not up, neatly dressed and involved in activities. It may also include listening to family, acknowledging you are not able to do what you used to do and to graciously accept advice /support/ assistance.
Remember too that while assistance can be government subsidised, there are also “fee for services” centres. eg. Private Domestic Assistance( ex’ Home Help’) is a popular service.
Your plan is taking shape so phone My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 no matter which of the services eg. domestic assistance, district nursing, respite care you are ready for. During this phone call, you will be asked for your medicare card, so have it and if applicable your pension card handy, prepare your list of answers to the above issues.
Your plan / list will help with the officer’s questions, and whether or not at this point you wish to have an assessment for services which will support/assist your journey. If you don’t need a face to face assessment now, when you do phone My Aged Care, state your changes and ask for an assessor to visit you please.
Written by Ruth Hosking who was the Aged Services Volunteer of the Year, 2014/15 and is a member of the Council of the Ageing Viv. Peer Ed.Group, and she is passionate about us all aging well in our life’s journey.