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99-year-old Molly increases her independence

20 December 2018

Short-term program provides lasting change.

Molly loves her independence, the 99-year-old lives in her own place in Perth’s southern suburbs.

The great-grandmother is very proud of her garden, she enjoys seeing the flowers bloom and bring their different colours to her surroundings.

For someone her age, Molly is quite self-sufficient however, she recently faced some new challenges which started affecting her everyday mobility around the house.

For a short while Molly didn’t go out to admire her flowers as often as she would’ve liked, simply because getting around by herself had become a little difficult.

Molly had been dealing with pain in her legs so began depending on her walker but getting the walker over the door frames had become a little challenging.

“I was having lots of trouble with great pain in my legs and my walker helps me to walk better, it’s a fair walk from my front door to my letterbox and I wasn’t using it, I would’ve liked to use it for that, but I wasn’t taking it with me,” she said.

When Molly thought back on it, she realised getting in and out of her bed and up and down from her couch had also become harder and she’d started going up the step near her lounge room sideways to reduce discomfort.

It was thanks to the Short-Term Restorative Care program that Molly was able to address these issues, work on her strength and mobility and regain some of her independence that she’d started to lose.

Having been assessed and approved for a Home Care Package by the Commonwealth Department of Health, Molly’s name was placed on the waiting list for services. However, in the meantime, she was able to take advantage of the eight-week Short-Term Restorative Care program offered by MercyCare.

The program focuses on preventing or reducing difficulties older people have with completing everyday tasks.

“I was surprised, and I’ve been very, very blessed in that eight weeks, I loved everything about it,” she said.

As part of the program, Molly worked with her Case Manager, Megan who recommended ramps to be installed at her front and back doors, so she could easily go in and out with her walker.

She also recommended an additional rail to the step of her house to give her better support and a rail beside her bed to help her get up and down from her bed easier.

“Even the people, the men they sent to put these things in place, they were just as nice as the helpers,” Molly said.

“They also put a rail by my bed, which I thought, no I don’t want that, but you wouldn’t believe how much I like that.”

Molly also had visits from a physiotherapist during the eight-week program.

Her physiotherapist, Sam visited her three times a week.

“He thought I done very well in those eight weeks because when he first came my balance wasn’t good at all, I was walking around hanging onto the walls when he came here, I don’t do that anymore,” Molly said.

“A lot of the exercises became harder but all I had to do was try and make an effort to do them and I was surprised how well I got along with them.”

Because of weakness and pain in her legs, Molly wears pain patches to provide some relief.

“The exercises helped to reduce my need for the medication,” Molly said.

“Since I’ve been on this program they’ve reduced my pain patch and I don’t have the pain behind my leg that I used to have behind the knees.”

To make her home more comfortable Molly also received a new armchair which has the ability to lift up and down. For increased safety her personal monitor was replaced with a new one which connects to a satellite. When activated the monitor connects to a call centre that will alert Molly’s daughter and network to check on her.

Molly said she was glad she took part in the program and she was now motivated to make the most of any services she might receive in the future as part of her Home Care Package.

“I’m very, very, blessed and as I get older and I’m able to stay at home as long as I can, I’ll be more blessed,” Molly said.

“Life’s good.”

•             Short Term Restorative Care program 

•             Home Care Packages

 

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