Susan sat in her brand-new electric wheelchair, a smile stretching across her face as she watched her friends stroll alongside her. It was a moment she never thought she would experience again. After six long years, she was finally able to join them for a walk, thanks to the help of Country Home Services.
When Susan’s mobility started deteriorating, her friends would invite her for walks, but she couldn’t keep up with them using her regular wheelchair. It was a daily struggle, and the feeling of exclusion weighed heavily on her. Until now.
Through her Home Care Package, Country Home Services supported Susan to purchase an electric wheelchair, along with a specially designed crane in her car to lift it up effortlessly. The newfound independence brought immense relief and joy to Susan. She was no longer reliant on her friends to attend her weekly swimming sessions. With a simple touch, her electric wheelchair was ready, empowering her to head to the pool on her own. “I am happier today than I have been for a VERY long time,” Susan expressed, her voice filled with gratitude.
A new wheelchair provides more than practical assistance; Susan has a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. No longer does she feel isolated or burdened with worries about her mobility. She said she is, “one of the girls again,” able to accept invitations and participate in activities without hesitation. “It was always a pipe dream that I never expected to happen. But you made it happen!” she told her co-ordinator, Tammy.
Susan couldn’t have been more grateful for her co-ordinator and the exceptional care she has received. “I am so very pleased I picked Country Home Services and doubly lucky that Tammy became my case worker,” Susan remarked with a heartfelt appreciation.
As Susan begins to enjoy activities with her friends again, the kindness and support she feels she received has breathed new life into her world, and she is determined to make the most of it.
Clare Valley Model Engineers
Nestled within the Clare Valley is a remarkable organisation dedicated to the art of model engineering, bringing to life an intricate miniature railway network. The club was founded in 1998 and over the next 15 years, volunteers created a miniature railway network, complete with intricately designed tracks, tunnels, bridges, and stations. The layout showcases different eras and styles of railway architecture, providing visitors with a delightful journey through time.
In November last year, we were proud to assist the club with a grant so that they can build picnic tables for visiting families. It helped to make the park more accessible and their next projects involve adding more pathways to also make it easier for visitors.
This is a club that is also very connected to the community and is always keen to work with the local high school to encourage future engineers. During one school term a group of students helped to build the arched shelter which was very successful.
The club attracts members from various walks of life who share a common love for engineering and craftsmanship. They meet twice a week, and the space provides a supportive network for the members However, you don’t need to be an engineer as they are always open to new volunteers who love trains, gardening, and generally just helping out.
The park is open up to the public for special events and on the 2nd and 4th Sunday monthly when people can experience train rides. Visit https://clarevalleymodelengineers.org/ for more information.
More than an exercise class – Easy Moves SYP
Easy Moves is an activity that truly supports the community. Easy Moves SYP offers weekly seniors-specific exercise classes in Yorketown and Stansbury, with classes averaging between 8-20 participants weekly in each location.
Weekly sessions include a range of physical activities, designed to promote strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and dexterity, as well as increased mental health, social connection and well-being. The class uses chairs as well as hand-held equipment, such as exercise balls, weights, therabands, and pool noodles. Both new and existing clients regularly comment on their improved overall physical and mental health with consistent class attendance. Clients are often referred by local health services to support health issues including diabetes, weight management, neurological conditions, heart health and mobility. Easy Moves is also an inclusive space, which welcomes members with intellectual challenges as well as their carers, and also clients with physical disabilities such as low vision, hearing impairment and mobility issues.
The addition of a healthy quarterly lunch/afternoon tea at each site has been a welcomed and highly regarded part of the program. Participants gather a few times a year after a class to share healthful, whole foods, providing them with the opportunity to connect, socialise, network, and support each other in a meaningful, community-oriented environment. This has proven to be a remarkably beneficial component of the group, providing much-needed resilience and a sense of community in a regional and remote area such as SYP, where geographic and social isolation play a big role and have a large impact on our ageing population.
During a lively lunch last month, several attendees said the same thing: “I came because a friend invited me and haven’t missed one since.”
We are proud to form a partnership with Easy Moves for this year!
Working with Asthma Australia to improve asthma care in Yorkes
Across our rural communities, asthma is a leading health concern. On the Yorke Peninsula, 1 in every 5 or 6 people live with asthma. This rate is higher than the state or national average.
Asthma Australia has recognised that in our communities, the detection and diagnosis of asthma and access to ongoing treatment needs to improve to reduce the risk of asthma attacks and the daily struggle poor breathing is having on people’s lives.
Country Home Services is proud to help Asthma Australia improve asthma care in the Yorke Peninsula with a grant that will supply much needed asthma diagnostic equipment to medical centres. One piece of equipment will ensure compliance with COVID requirements and the others will ensure testing machines will be accurate. With extra funding from Country SA PHN, Asthma Australia has helped train nurses in Minlaton, Maitland and Ardrossan to use the asthma diagnostic equipment, and in Wallaroo by the Better Care in Community team. This new equipment is now critical to comply with COVID infection control regulations.
In addition to improving medical training and equipment, Asthma Australia has identified that an asthma outreach clinic is sorely needed to help traverse the large distances between our towns.
The outreach clinic will be run by trained nurses and equipment will be in the clinic. The nursing team will be supported by Kerry Goldsworthy in the Asthma Australia outreach clinic. Kerry is a local Asthma Community Connector trained by Asthma Australia, providing excellent support through asthma first aid talks to community groups and schools, supporting people with asthma one on one, and sharing resources across the community.
To find out more about the outreach clinic you can contact Kerry by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0498 073 899.
Empowering our clients in the IT world
“We’re expected to do more and more things online, but people forget we didn’t grow up with it. It’s a different language and I don’t speak it.”
These words were spoken by Bruce, but his words are echoed by many of our clients. In consultation with our Country Home Services’ client advisory group, we started monthly IT sessions in our Kadina, Clare, and Nuriootpa offices.
These sessions were tailored to whatever clients said they’d like help with at the time. Some clients came with a limited understanding of the internet/technology, and some had more.
Ron’s first goal was learning to send a text message. He found the informal, social, safe learning space helpful, “My voice is heard, and I feel so much more confident now. I like that I can do things for myself, and I’m confident to try things.”
Kris wanted to have more confidence and skill using her smartphone and tablet. Geoff and Jan, both members of CHS’ client advisory group, are passionate advocates for clients learning.
Geoff enthused, “We need to get up to date, and if I go along to the sessions, at least I can share the things I do, and people might be encouraged that they could do it too.” Jan strongly promotes empowering clients, “We’re old,” she said bluntly, “We’re not stupid. We can be taught how to use technology, not just have people do it for us.”
The IT Sessions were a trial and finish up in May. Country Home Services may continue sessions in some locations; however, there are already some excellent free IT sessions run by community centres and libraries. Our client advisory group is reviewing the IT trial and investigating other ways we can keep supporting clients and communities.
If you have thoughts or suggestions, let us know!
Supporting each step of the way
Life can throw unexpected events at us. When that happens, our needs sometimes change. It’s reassuring to know support is available.
When Creina initially joined CHS, she received cleaning support for those tougher jobs around the home through the Commonwealth Home Support Program.
However, Creina had a fall and broke her hip. She needed intense rehabilitation involving physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. Her Country Home Services coordinator Shona supported Creina to be reassessed by My Aged Care. This meant Creina could access additional resources to help with her rehabilitation process.
“Shona was a gem. She has gone above and beyond to meet my needs. The process was seamless.”
Shona connected Creina with Country Home Services contractor Lissie. Lissie provided transportation and social support. Through her previous work, Lissie had a good understanding of water safety and helped to build Creina’s confidence through her rehabilitation.
As Creina’s needs changed, she moved from a Commonwealth Home Support Program to a Home Care Package. This enabled her to access more services, support, and products.
A battery backup for her electric chair, and Lite n’ Easy meals, have empowered Creina and supported an improvement in her quality of life.
A recent bushfire nearby Creina’s home shut the power off. The battery backup enabled the electric chair to be positioned for comfort and ease of exit if needed. Additionally, it came in handy to power a fan. Creina explained, “Having access to power backup was a godsend as I am terrible in the heat. It was worth its weight in gold that day.”
Creina said it’s also been valuable to have access to subsidised Lite n’ Easy meals through her Home Care Package. Pre-prepared, healthy meals mean Creina is taking care of herself, without putting physical strain on her body.
“The meals are so nice and it’s all so easy. They are very filling and it’s great to not have the stress of cooking.”
We are grateful to be able to support clients like Creina on their journey.
If you would like to know more about how we can support your journey, we’d love to talk with you! You can reach us on 1300 773 202.