Help at home enabled Helen to continue an active life

Helen, 81, had growing health concerns which made her worry she would lose her independence. But receiving help at home made a real difference.

When Helen’s husband passed away, she kept her life busy. She was involved with her local church and attended quiz nights with her daughter. And while she didn’t like to drive too far, she enjoyed shopping locally and visiting nearby family. At home, she enjoyed patchwork, hand sewing and playing the piano.

However, over time her health deteriorated, which made it harder to keep up with her busy life.

Photo of Helen smiling

The impact of declining health

Helen developed a skin infection called cellulitis, experienced swelling in her arms and legs, and suffered with osteoarthritis. At one stage, she also contracted adeno virus and nearly lost her life.

"After coming home from hospital, I needed real help," Helen says.

Helen knew about My Aged Care. She had received services previously when she had broken her wrist. And although the experience had been positive, Helen was still nervous to ask for help. She was worried about losing her independence. “I was feeling inadequate because I couldn’t do things myself,” Helen says.

But life was becoming harder to manage, so she talked to her doctor.

Getting the right help

Helen enlisted the help of My Aged Care again. This allowed her to apply for government-subsidised services.

After an assessment, Helen was found eligible for cleaning services. She started receiving 90 minutes of house cleaning every week. This included all the chores she couldn’t do herself, such as vacuuming, washing, and dusting.

“It’s impossible for me to do some chores, and I’m so happy someone can help,” says Helen. “My care worker likes what she is doing; she hates clutter and enjoys tidying up!”

“As soon as the cleaning is done and the floors are left to dry, I go down the street and have a coffee as a treat!”

Remaining independent at home

Helen says aged care support made a real difference in helping her stay at home and remain independent.

“I have a better sense of satisfaction in the place that I live in because it feels better to be here now. I am more content to be here in my own home rather than feeling like I should be in an aged care home,” she says.

“The things I was really struggling with, I don’t really struggle with anymore — and that is very freeing.”

To learn more about government-funded help at home services, visit the Help explorer.

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