We pride ourselves on our care, compassion and understanding regarding the practicalities of getting you help when you need it. We often receive letters from carers, family members, clients and residents who have appreciated the work of our staff and want to share their personal stories and experiences.
Enjoy our selection of these real life stories about Blue Care in action throughout Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
My Days at Canowindra
As related by a Blue Care Canowindra Aged Care Facility resident.
It was most unexpected that I found myself having to become a permanent resident of Blue Care Canowindra Aged Care facility after being in hospital and in respite here.
I must truthfully say, I really wanted to be at home, realising this was impossible and after many discussions with staff, I decided to stay. I assured them I didn't like to go to bed early and that I belonged to a number of organisations with which I wanted to stay in touch eg. Red Cross, QCWA, Ambulance, QES, NPA, Day Care program, Church and other social activities.
The Service Manager assured me that 'this is not a prison' and I would be able to go as long as my support people were available to help me. I just needed to sign the book on going out and on return to ensure that the staff on duty knew of my whereabouts and expected return times. I still go out to all of the organisations I used to and this doesn't seem to cause any bother to anyone.
I also asked: 'What if I wanted to move away from here and go to Brisbane where I would be closer to my family?' I was assured there would be no difficulty about it as long as I had somewhere to go.
Much to my surprise I have been very happy here. The staff are just wonderful. We are very well cared for and feel as though we are wanted and part of a family. I live in a shared room, which I refer to as my 'little bit of real estate' as this has a ring of distinction to it.
We have some lively debates at times when we all get together and discuss the news and have a great laugh about some of the antics the staff and others get up to. We have a party every week with all of us getting together to share in some music and fun. Our family and friends can join in whenever they want. There are some wonderful volunteers who give their time playing concerts for us, and doing little things to give us a helping hand.
Another great benefit I have received by being here is that I sold my house very quickly but was able to travel to England for a holiday with some family. The Staff helped to get me all packed and organised and I had a wonderful trip.
Kingaroy always seems like home to me and I have been here for many years. I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending Canowindra ('Our Home') to anyone.
When Distance is a Barrier to Care
Eighty-year-old Tom* of Mitchell, Western Queensland, suffered from aggressive dementia and his wife, Florence* found it increasingly difficult to take care of him.
Florence even struggled to dress him in the mornings and the Blue Care community carers offering assistance were starting to fear for their own safety.
Tom would often wander, try and cook things in an unsafe way, leave the gas on or try and find keys so he could drive.
Florence eventually realised she was unable to continue caring for Tom at home and made the heart-breaking decision to admit him into the closest high care aged home in Roma, 87 kilometres away. Here, her husband was able to receive professional, dementia-specific care.
Florence had spent eight years trying to care for Tom at home so leaving him was a struggle. They'd married young and had not spent a night apart other than the few times they'd each spent in hospital over the years.
Blue Care staff understood the challenge Florence faced in visiting her husband and the importance of maintaining social networks. Florence, who was unwell herself, was unable to make the one-hour trip to visit her husband on her own and Blue Care helped set up a roster with her friends, enabling her to regularly visit Tom.
This allowed Florence to continue her life in the company of friends during social visits and allows her to see her beloved husband at the residential aged care home.
*Names have been changed to protect identity.
Reaching Out in Outback Queensland
Cattle farmers Syd* and Jane* led a noble life in the tiny Outback Queensland town of Augathella – tending to their livestock, cooking hearty meals and keeping in touch with family members spread throughout Australia. They enjoyed their weekly one-hour drives north to the Shire's hub of Charleville for shopping and social visits.
Jane, aged in her early 60s, was known in the community for her warm, energetic nature – she could hold her own while mustering cattle alongside the men yet return from a long day and happily prepare big feasts for Syd and the other workers.
A few years ago life for this hardworking couple changed dramatically when Jane started forgetting simple things. Many thought her scattiness was just a temporary effect from the bump to the head after a farming accident, but they soon realised it was probably a facade for something more distressing.
Jane became one of 200,000 Australians to be diagnosed with dementia – a condition that affects brain function, including changes to a person's memory, personality and behaviour.
Even familiar tasks, such as going to the library, became difficult: Jane was returning without any books. With time, her condition began to deteriorate and being a carer as well as running a farm became too much for 70-year-old Syd, who was quite frail.
It was four years before Syd enlisted the help of a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre who put him in touch with Blue Care. Blue Care offered respite support and helped with home domestic duties, as well as transport to town for grocery shopping and health appointments. These trips were shared with the couple's friends who generously gave their time.
Just when Syd and Jane were becoming used to their new lifestyle, Syd suffered a heart attack. He needed urgent bypass surgery which required hospitalisation for two months in Brisbane, 748 kilometres away.
The strain on the couple's children grew as they debated about what was best for their parents. It was eventually agreed that Jane should leave the farm and take up temporary care in a Brisbane nursing home where she could be close to Syd and one of their daughters.
The couple's deteriorating health meant a return to the farm was unlikely for Syd and Jane. Even if Jane lived at Charleville's nursing home, Syd would still have difficulty visiting her.
The best solution was to build a purpose-built home on land they owned in a Central Queensland town with both community care options and a residential aged care facility nearby. For now, they are supported by their daughter who lives close by, and they receive domestic and personal care support from Blue Care.
*Names have been changed to protect identity.
New Lease on Life
Extract from a letter from the daughter of a Blue Care respite client.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff and to let you know how grateful I am to have my 91-year dad attend your centre every week. It has made a significant difference to his outlook on life.
Sport, hobbies, general reading and other interests outside of his manual work have never interested my father, and it has therefore been very difficult to be able to get him involved in other things, or to talk about a common subject of interest.
I have cared for my father over the last eight years since my mother died. Three years ago my husband and I made a decision to move into a house that would allow me to care for my father on a full time basis. Needless to say I found it difficult to keep my father interested particularly as his legs have been weakening, prohibiting him from doing the small 'jobs' he likes doing.
Visiting Caloundra Respite Centre has given him a new lease on life. For the first time in a long time he has had something to talk about with others. He enjoys telling us his stories and what everyone does at respite. He thinks the staff are wonderful and so do I. His time in respite allows me some time for myself. My life is balanced between my father's care, my family and our business, so needless to say I have very little time to myself.
Aged care is something special and without doubt the people who undertake this work are something special. I would like to compliment the staff for their dedication and compliment Blue Care for their supreme efforts. This sort of service and facility needs full support by all divisions of government as the benefits to the community are immeasurable.
Thank you sincerely.
Extract from a letter from the parents of a Blue Care client.
We were so caught up with our daughter's illness - uncontrolled epilepsy then psychotic episodes due to a medication reaction – that we didn't have time to seek help.
It was only in the last six months that we discovered Blue Care could offer assistance. Boonah Blue Care staff are very supportive and our daughter goes there two days a week to give us respite. Both managers have been to our home to help and advise. Blue Care also put us in touch with a counsellor which has been most helpful. We cannot compliment them enough.