4 February 2016
My move out of aged care thanks to your generosity
My mum was my primary carer and best friend and we lived together for 45 years until she fell and broke her wrist and could no longer care for me. We had been trying to prepare for her increasing frailty but I ended up in hospital and then had to move into a residential aged care facility in May of 2014. There was no other option.
The facility was of course geared to provide for the needs of people at a very different stage of life to me. It was quite like a hospital with the staff looking after 10 people each, to shower and help with dressing and feeding and medication and everything.
Living in a nursing home meant having breakfast and dinner at set times and lack of stimulation was a big problem. Many of the older folks had lost the ability to communicate and I felt isolated and very, very lonely. I lost a sense of myself as an individual. It was frustrating and demoralising – being in the nursing home you knew that people were coming in for their last days. No one was going to go home and this was hard to face at my age. At times I felt that my life had ended.
Nancy, my sister, and Robyn, my case manager, noticed I was sinking. Together with Bernadette, my YPIRAC worker and Youngcare they helped me see that I did deserve more and that I could handle a self-determined life.
Now, thanks to a Youngcare Home Soon Grant, I’m in my own home now. My own home.
I have carers come three times a day. They assist me with personal care and chores and meal preparation. Most importantly they help me to do as much as I can for myself, which I love. I really enjoy vacuuming. Now that I have left aged care there is so much I need to learn to do, and I am only just getting the hang of it now. Even sleeping alone is something that’s new to me as I always shared a home with my Mum.
My place is great and it has been renovated to suit me, and my wheel chair. Amazing! The benches and basins and switches are all at the right height for me and the doorframes have been widened and there is even an automatic door opener that allows me to open and close the front door with a remote control. I also had the opportunity to choose some equipment to help me be more independent in my home like a chair and bed that are height adjustable to allow me to get in and out more easily. There is even a gadget for the kitchen to help me slice stuff and I made my own sandwich for the first time last week. I’m learning to plan meals and order my groceries online.
It’s a bit scary but I’m getting used to making personal choices (and keeping up with the housework!).
I’m really looking forward to meeting some new friends and getting involved in the community this year.
At a critical moment Youngcare joined my team of supporters and made this new home, and this new Karina, possible. I feel really grateful to all the people who’ve had so much faith in me. I won’t let you down.