Supportive care for people who need it

Home gardening help for my ageing parents

Home gardening help for my ageing parents

The positive link between being out in nature, enjoying the benefits of gardening and your health is not new news, health professionals recommend a daily dose of vitamin D and getting back to nature for all Australians. Gardening is a home based activity that many seniors have enjoyed all their life. Maintaining the immaculate lawn and tending to the roses that they have nurtured for decades can become challenging for seniors and cause distress if their once loved garden starts to decline.  The good news is that with support seniors can continue their love of the garden or re-engage with this past activity with support. Gardening is good for the soul, and there is nothing quite like getting your hands dirty and watching new plants spring to life.

Tending a garden regularly also gives one purpose and is an inexpensive way to get back to nature as well as having some awesome health benefits for older people, it:

  • Is an enjoyable form of exercise
  • Increases level of physical activity and helps mobility and flexibility
  • Encourages use of all motor skills
  • Improves endurance and strength
  • Helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis
  • Reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation
  • Can provide nutritious, home-grown produce

All individuals, including those living with dementia, can find gardening calming and can bring a sense of achievement and generally increasing well-being.

A dose of vitamin D supports a more restful sleep and stronger bones.

Getting support can assist you to engage in this soul soothing activity with physical support and modifications to your garden to allow safe access.

How do I choose the right home help service provider in Perth

Aged Care is rarely at the top of anyone’s list of things to find out about about until he or she or their loved one actually needs it. Unfortunately, this need often arises after a short period of health decline, a loss of a loved one, or a traumatic event, which creates a crisis in the ability of the individual to manage all day-to-day tasks unassisted.  At a time of great distress, the aged care system can be confusing, confronting and jargon ridden, information which can make it all too hard for seniors to access services that truly meet their needs in a manner suitable to them.

Many providers will bombard you information on their point of difference, their fees and a long list of services they provide using terms that are unfamiliar to most.

So where do you begin?

It’s important that before you meet with any service provider you ask yourself what is most important to you, is it cost, quality, reliability, relationship or ease of access. All these things will differ between providers and when presented with information, being clear on what is important will allow you to cut through the maze of information and choose the home care provider that best fits with you or your loved ones requirements.

  1. Cost

    While it is tempting to start at fees, like everything in life, what seems like a bargain may not be and paying a little extra may get you a better service in the long run. However, that does not mean that the more expensive providers have the best quality of service, often the higher fees are to pay for the higher running costs of large organisations.

    When talking to providers about fees and charges ensure that you receive all their fees, as the basic fee may be an attractive proposition however the addition of surcharges for travel or petrol and penalty rates for staff may end up with a much higher fee than you first anticipated.

    Cancellation fees and terms and conditions of ‘packaged’ offers need to be closely looked at before you commit. As with any contract, always read the small print.

  2. Quality

    Quality of service can be hard to measure and the idea of quality differs from person to person. One person may be delighted with the standard of cleaning one company achieves while for another person it may not meet their standard.

    For some the person supporting them or their loved one must be a health professional, while for others, this may not be as important.Some questions you may want to ask yourself regarding quality are:

    1. Is it important that the staff have any qualifications in caring?
    2. Is receiving the same staff member regularly important?
    3. Is the person supporting you to make decisions on what care will best support you and making recommendations a health professional with knowledge of the ageing process and management of complex health needs?
    4. Are the staff who deliver the care well trained and supported?
  3. Reliability and Customer Service

    Reliability is important for most people. There are few things more frustrating than waiting in all day for someone to arrive and they don’t turn up, or they turn up later than expected. You may wish to ask the provider how they ensure that staff arrives on time and how they communicate with you if there is an issue with the agreed time. Also, if a staff member is unable to attend, what is the back up?

    How easy is it to contact the office and speak with someone?

  4. Relationship

    A question few people ask about but huge influencing factor of good service provision is the ability to build lasting and meaningful relationships with staff. If the staff getting to know you, the family and building a trusting friendship is important, then you need to know the providers view on this. Some providers do not allow their staff to share personal information about their family or pets, yet clients normally love to hear about the grandkids, weddings etc.  Some providers may also change your staff member regularly, for fear of you creating dependence on a particular staff member. This creates distress and prevents clients building trust. Being able to build a relationship between the client and staff member ensures that little changes to the clients’ mood, abilities and general wellbeing can be picked up and supported.

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Posted on

11 June, 2019