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With help from BaptistCare, Betty Marks is overcoming challenges caused by frailty and vision loss to live a full and happy life.
At 89, Betty Marks’ mind is as sharp as ever, but after a series of health issues living alone is not as easy as it once was. She’s lost most of the vision in her left eye from macular degeneration, and following a nasty fall, required shoulder and knee replacements and a metal plate in her wrist.
Rather than moving into supported accommodation, Betty’s clever solution was to draw on BaptistCare to transform her Murwillumbah home. BaptistCare arranged for home modifications to help compensate for her loss of vision and aid in the prevention of further falls. Betty also receives cleaning and shopping support.
“It’s not just the big things that BaptistCare helps with,” explains Betty. “I was sitting in a recliner recently and [my Care Facilitator] Wendy asked why I didn’t put the foot support up. I said I didn’t have the strength in my wrist to pull the lever. She explained I could purchase an electric recliner through my Home Care Package. It’s just wonderful because now I just have to push a button.”
Betty and her husband, Stewart, had three children and spent most of their married life in Macksville where Stewart taught at the local school and Betty was a library assistant. When Stewart died eight years ago, Betty moved to NSW’s Far North Coast to be closer to her children and grandchildren. Her daughter Jenny sadly passed away in 2017.
Betty now enjoys life and says the changes to her home have made a big difference. “I’ve got lights everywhere now, and phones with large numbers in every room so I don’t have to hurry. They’re just little things, but they are important to me,” said Betty.
BaptistCare also arranged for steps and a handrail in Betty’s backyard, again financed by her Home Care Package. “It gives me a lot more freedom outside and I like that.”
In addition, Betty receives four hours of assistance each week from BaptistCare care worker, Julie. “Julie comes and changes my bed, washes the sheets and cleans the house. Then she takes me shopping, down to the bank or out for lunch. It’s just wonderful,” said Betty.
With her living situation sorted, Betty plans to spend her extra time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, being a part of the local Blind and Sight Impaired Society, and organising her upcoming 90th birthday.
“I have more time thanks to BaptistCare. All I could do is recommend them! Wendy is helpful and very efficient, and Julie and I get on really, really well. I know there are lots of organisations out there, but I can’t fault BaptistCare.”
If you or someone you love is looking for help to remain socially active and engaged with the community, contact BaptistCare on 1300 275 227 or visit baptistcare.org.au/athome.