Bob never expected to receive home care services.
The 89-year-old played golf and tennis until just a few years ago. But a back operation, followed by a long stay in hospital while he recovered, meant that he couldn’t pick up where he left off once he returned home.
“When I left hospital in December 2017, I couldn’t drive and my partner Marjorie had handed in her licence,” he explains.
“We needed help to get food because neither of us could drive … We needed help with the housework too, because Margie … has a crook shoulder, so we had trouble with bed-making and all that sort of work, that was painful for us.”
Bob’s son and Marjorie’s son helped the couple register with My Aged Care and from there they engaged home care services, which started with more intensive assistance as Bob recovered at home.
“When I came out of hospital, they’d come twice a week and take us shopping to get food and whatever, until I could drive again,” he says. “And now we have them once a week to clean up the house, make the beds etc, so we don’t have to go to a nursing home. We want to stay in the home together as long as we can because it’s a nice lifestyle. It’s pretty important to keep your independence.”
Bob admits that coming to the realisation he needed help at home wasn’t easy.
“You come to realise that you’ve got old and you can’t do the things that you used to do,” he says. “That’s a blow, because I’ve always been active, I’ve always been a fixer-upper. I still like gardening and I like doing things, but I can’t lift things anymore. There are some things I can’t do any more.”
But having the assistance of home care is a “hell of a help”, Bob says.
“It gives you peace of mind when you know you’ve got these people looking after you. Really, it does.”