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For Maureen Fitzgerald, a former stay-at-home mum, personal care services meant a newfound energy to face the day.
As Maureen reached her 70s, she found tasks that were once easy, taxing, and hobbies that used to be enjoyable, trying. A lifetime of good health meant Maureen always had an insatiable appetite for life, even being an active swimmer in her youth.
But a quick succession of conditions, including polymyalgia rheumatica, heart problems and early onset dementia, meant her physical and mental capabilities were becoming restricted. All that, plus type 2 diabetes, saw Maurine struggling with even the most basic everyday tasks – like showering.
These circumstances meant Maurine was a prime candidate for government-funded support, but keen to maintain her independence, Maureen insisted she didn’t need help.
When Maurine eventually gave BaptistCare a try, it was transformative.
Under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), BaptistCare carers helped Maureen with showering and grooming, her medication, and socialising.
The tasks were simple, but they made a big impact. Maureen’s mood became brighter, her energy lifted, and her outlook on life more positive. Rather than just accepting she had support, she began to really look forward to it.
As well as care through CHSP, Maureen now also gets support as part of a cognitive reablement program. The program works to help people with dementia live more independently in their own homes, better manage everyday activities, and engage in activities they may have stopped doing.
If you or a loved one would benefit from care, get in touch with the BaptistCare Customer Engagement Centre on 1300 275 227 for advice on accessing CHSP and Home Care packages.
“BaptistCare are really good, and will try and send the same person every time so that they can form a relationship.” - Dennise, Maureen’s daughter
“She’s really perked up a lot. I think it’s about her mental state – once you're up and showered, you're quite open to actually doing things that day. You've had that other person in the house to talk to.”
“At the end of the day, Mum doesn't want to go into a home, and I don't want her to see her go into a home. So by BaptistCare assisting us with all this stuff, she's hopefully going to be able to stay in her own home for longer.
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.