Walking in a straight line is easier with the right support walking beside you

Earlier this year, Carmel was at an emotional crossroads.  The time had come to transition her beloved husband Frank from their family home into residential care.  

She’d been caring for Frank full time since 2017 but in a few short months, she saw a significant decline in his health and knew the time had come to consider how best to support Frank.  

During this difficult journey, Carmel fractured her lower back and needed to be admitted to hospital for treatment herself.  Upon discharge, she recognised the need for assistance to regain her strength and independence, so she reached out to My Aged Care. 

The journey to independence began 

The day after Frank moved to his new residence, Aspire4Life Home Support Assessor Rani visited Carmel to discuss her goals and begin her journey to strength and independence.  

Carmel was teary and indicated that she felt overwhelmed during Rani’s visit. Due to her caring nature it had been a long time since she’d thought about her own health and wellbeing. 

While talking, something that stood out to Rani was Carmel’s concern around her low energy and inability to walk in a straight line. She also didn’t have the stamina to walk to the recreational hall for social engagement, something which was one of Carmel’s goals. 

Setting the right goals 

At the initial assessment Carmel felt she needed to apply for a Home Care Package (HCP). However, as the discussion unfolded it became clear that her primary goal was to increase her strength and balance to maximise her independence, so a referral was made for in-home physiotherapy. 

An at-home meal service was introduced to alleviate pressure and support Carmel’s recovery. With consent, Rani also organised subsidised meals at the Chill n Chat Community Café to encourage connection and social engagement, breathing new life into Carmel’s days.  

Additionally, Carmel has chosen to access a private cleaner to support her with her domestic tasks while she is healing. This has allowed time to fully heal and build resilience. 

Progress through support 

Two months of weekly physiotherapy sessions and carefully thought-out support systems brought about remarkable improvement. 

“The physiotherapist has been coming weekly and she is wonderful. I have progressed with my exercises and am now using ankle weights,” Carmel beams.  

Carmel is now able to manage the short stroll to visit Frank on her own due to her commitment to physiotherapy and desire to restore her independence.  

“I am moving with more ease and feeling stronger. I’m also less stressed and feeling well.” 

During follow up, Carmel decided not to proceed with an ACAT assessment as she feels she is managing well with the current support in place. 

A few months ago, Carmel couldn’t walk in a straight line, but now she is taking strides towards a healthy, independent and happy future.  

For more information about how Aspire4Life can support you to help reach your health and wellbeing goals, click here.