"It makes such a difference"

I’m Kirri-Lee; an Intereach Care Coordinator in our Community Support program and I first met Lynn and Paul after Paul had an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment and qualified for a level 4 Home Care Package. Paul was injured in a workplace accident in 2008 and it left him with a significant brain injury that was made worse by a stroke about six months later. His wife Lynn is his primary carer.

There was compensation at the start for his rehabilitation and to help pay for support workers who came in each day to help him with his personal care. They took away some of this funding though when they thought he no longer needed rehabilitation. This meant less hours for the support workers and more work for Lynn. She doesn’t begrudge it and would work all day and every day if she had to, to make sure Paul was safe and well.

Paul had already been working with PNR Health Care Services and was comfortable with them so we brokered their services to keep providing Paul with in-home care. I could see Lynn’s dedication and selflessness; she provides support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and rarely gets the chance to get away to do the things she loves. Although her primary concern is providing support to Paul, I could see the importance of listening and understanding both their needs and what Lynn’s goals might be.

Lynn talked about a concert in Melbourne that she’d love to attend so we worked with PNR and the Intereach Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (CRCC) to organise an overnight shift to take care of Paul. Lynn told me that, “the breaks that I have had have been great,” and so we will keep working with CRCC to provide ongoing respite for her.

What has made this work well is the partnerships between Intereach, PNR and CRCC. Given the complexity of Paul’s personal care regime and related needs, it is important that we work collaboratively and proactively to achieve the best outcomes for them both.

For Paul and Lynn, it is the flexibility that makes the difference. “The fact that we can bank the hours and use the package in different ways is helpful. We can’t do that with the insurer. And having someone like you visit makes a difference in being able to talk and plan.”