The healing power of home

When 89-year-old Reginald Rigby suffered a serious fall at home earlier this month and broke his left shoulder, hospital staff offered him the choice of recovering in respite care or at an aged care home.

Neither sounded appealing for Mr Rigby who wanted to remain in his own home in the town of Penguin, on Tasmania’s North-West coast, and keep an eye on the small garden he had developed and tended diligently for many years.

“I had been in a nursing home before and took myself out. I didn’t like it… it was too regimented,’’ Mr Rigby explained.

Fortunately Mr Rigby was then able to go home using a Transition Care Community Package (TCP) offered by  Uniting Age Well’s Latrobe Community.

The packages offer short-term goal-focused therapy and case management for older people recovering from a hospital stay.

TCP clients are actively involved in their case management, care and therapy and help to set goals for their recovery.

Mr Rigby is a big fan of the program.

“Since I have been involved I have had someone here every day and have been spoilt rotten,’’ he laughed.

“When you wake up in the morning there is someone here to get you to the shower and then help you dress or I can go back to bed if I want to.

“They help with my meals, housework and if I smile nicely I even get a cup of tea!’’

Most importantly his carers also arranged for Mr Rigby’s garden to be kept in check while he is unable to maintain it.

Mr Rigby said maintaining a sense of independence and being able to stay at home were the biggest advantages offered by the TCPs.

“I knew I would never be happy in a nursing home,’’ he said.

The TCPs are available for a three-month period but can be extended by up to a further six weeks.

Up to 76 North-West clients will be supported by the TCPs in 2017.

The Uniting AgeWell Latrobe Community also offers independent living units, home care packages, social support, residential care and Meals on Wheels for the region.

Anyone seeking more information about the TCPs in North-West Tasmania can contact the program on (03) 6426 2844.

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