Staying at home towards the end of your life doesn’t usually seem possible, however, David’s experience at our Home Care Services will make you rethink this common assumption.
Here is David’s story, written from the perspective of one of our Home Care Employees.
“David was one the first consumer’s that I cared for at Living Care Home Care Services. He and his wife Sharon only had one daughter, who lived interstate, so Sharon did not have a lot of support. We put in services for lawn and garden maintenance, personal care, respite, housekeeping and transport.
David and Sharon both came along to our social group Knit & Knatter each month where Living Care consumers and carers come together to get to know one another and do some craft and knitting. David also liked to attend Men’s Business, which is where male consumers and carers get together each month and play games, go out for lunch and form special friendships.
After a few months Sharon and David decided that it was time to write an advanced care plan for David. They assumed that this would mean that David would have to move out of home, so when we assured them that this wasn’t the case, they were both very relieved. We assured them that we would continue to care for David and do all that we could to honour his wish to pass away at home.
As David continued to deteriorate, we increased his services and he had to stop attending Knit & Knatter and Men’s Business. To compensate for this, we created a “boy’s day” every Friday, where Ben, one of our male employees, would sit with David whilst Sharon went out. They would play dominoes together, and David would always win.
We increased our services again and we assured Sharon and David that we would continue to put in as much care hours as they needed.
David passed away in his own home, just as he had wanted. He was with his wife Sharon and their daughter.
I attended the funeral with a few of my co-workers. Sharon found us after the service and told us how much David adored each and every one us that came into their home. She said that David and Ben were best mates, and that she had put out his dominoes that morning so that David could play whilst the funeral was on. I also spoke to their daughter, who thanked me for everything I did for her parents. She was grateful that someone was available to call if they needed anything, knowing that she was so far away.
Sharon invited us all to the wake, and the intention was to just pay our respects, have a cuppa and then leave. However, when Sharon arrived, she sat with us and we chatted about David, gardening and all sorts of things. Sharon told us how much she was going to miss each and every one of us coming into their home.
I invited Sharon to continue coming to Knit & Knatter, and I explained that we could put her on as a consumer if she wanted to – her response was “Oh, will you take me on too? That’d be great!”
Normally funerals are a time for the family to be together, however, at this funeral it was made quite clear that we were very much a part of David and Sharon’s family too.”
Names have been changed to protect identities.