This month, we had a chat with Joan, one of Annecto’s aged care supports customers in regional Victoria, about her experience living independently in her own home.
As we park outside the old farmhouse in country Victoria, we are greeted by friendly barks and a wagging tail. Snowy the golden dog is keeping watch for his owner, Joan.
Cindy, one of Joan’s support workers, opens the property gate for us and leads us inside. Joan is patiently waiting for us in her favourite armchair by the fire she lit that morning.
Joan is 98 years old. She lives in the same house that she and her late husband Graham bought 60 years ago. Recently, Snowy found his way to her, and the two of them have been living happily together. Snowy watches the driveway in exchange for a taste of every meal Joan has.
A couple of years ago, Michael, Joan’s younger son, got in touch with Annecto to support his mum to keep living independently in her home. It was important for Joan, her family and Annecto to find the right support worker for her. The right person turned out to be two people. Sisters Jenn and Cindy are Annecto support workers who were born and raised in the Grampians region in Victoria.
“When you come from the country too, you sort of understand what’s important to country people, the importance of the fire for example. Older people in the country love their fire. Most days, Joan’s got the fire going first in the morning before I get here,” Cindy explains.
“Joan is very easy-going and independent. She knows what she wants and she tells you, she is really straightforward. She tries to do as much as she can.”
Jenn and Cindy take turns throughout the week to visit Joan twice a day. They assist her with cleaning around the house, meal preparation and personal care.
While Joan likes to keep to herself, she is always in touch with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Graduation, wedding and sports competition photos, along with portraits of each one of them are proudly displayed all over the house. They often call or visit and assist her with mowing the grass, gardening or chopping wood for the fireplace.
It’s “no problem”, Joan says, “I am lucky to live like I do.”
And while she cannot move around as much as she used to, Joan still likes to keep up to date with what is going on in the world. She proudly shows us her “wireless” on the table next to her. The radio allows her to follow the news, but also to keep track of the horse racing and footy results.
“I used to barrack for South Melbourne but they shifted to Sydney, so I don’t barrack for them anymore”, Joan explains with a smile. “So, I just go along and I pick out one and barrack for them! I do a picking job, it’s no problem!”
At Annecto, we offer individualised aged care support services that help you address your needs and achieve your goals so that you can live the life you want. To learn more or to enquire about our services, click here.
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