Carinity helping seniors to stay connected in their community

The Pub Lane Tavern in Greenbank is buzzing. The fortnightly seniors’ coffee group is in full swing, with over 20 older residents from the local area chatting and connecting over coffee.

The group started in February with just five people, growing each fortnight as word spread. With the support of Carinity Home Care, Stephanie Campbell is the group’s newest member.

Stephanie, who loves a good chat and laugh, instantly feels a part of the local seniors' coffee group.
With the support of Carinity Home Care, Stephanie Campbell has found new friends in her new community in Logan.

Stephanie, 72, moved to Flagstone in April, making the community in the south of Brisbane her new home. Having moved frequently throughout New South Wales and Queensland, starting over is not new to her.

Each time she changes towns, Stephanie makes it a priority to meet new people, make friends and become part of the community.

“I can talk the legs off an iron chair,” is how she describes her love of a chat and a good laugh.

Stephanie has been the backbone of many towns she has lived in over the years, taking on a variety of roles that included hosting the Debutante Ball; earning the title ‘Queen of Cake Making’ for her fruit cakes; providing companionship to the elderly as a volunteer in a nursing home; and sewing items to sell at the local fete just to name a few.

However, her journey to this seniors’ coffee morning has not been an easy one and has taken an ample serve of strength and determination.

Nine years ago, aged in her early 60s, Stephanie suffered a brain bleed. Her recovery was remarkable, however over time the health complexities associated with the bleed have led to her requiring an increased level of care, support, and assistance from others.

Stephanie’s daughter, Joanne, has been key to her care and support throughout this time, however five years ago, when Joanne’s work commitments saw her increasingly away from home, Stephanie commenced receiving Government-funded care through a Home Care Package.

This allowed Joanne to manage her work commitments and Stephanie to receive the care and support she needed to not only remain living at home, but continue getting out and about in the community doing what she loves most – being with people.

With the support of Carinity Home Care and trust in her carer, Sharene, Stephanie enjoys getting out and about in her new community
With the support of Carinity Home Care and trust in her carer, Sharene, Stephanie enjoys getting out and about in her new community.

In April, when Stephanie and Joanne were looking for a local home care provider in Flagstone, they called Nihara Dove, Carinity’s Home Care Coordinator for Logan.

“Carinity Home Care were first on our list. As soon as we called them, then met Nihara, we knew we didn’t need to call the others. Nihara is honest and down to earth, and she sets such clear expectations. She’s always available to speak with. We feel we can always ask for changes to care and schedules,” said Joanne.

Carinity Home Care visit Stephanie’s home four times a week, providing a full range of support including cleaning, help with laundry, meal preparation, and social support – both in and out of home.

Some of Stephanie’s most valued time with her Carinity Lifestyle Carers, Juiletta and Sharene, is when they’re pursuing a favourite activity of Stephanie’s – sewing. Whether they are in the sewing room working together or getting out to the shops together buying materials for the next project, sewing is a hobby that truly lights the fire in Stephanie.

According to Carinity Home Care Coordinator Nihara, one of the keys to satisfaction for her home care clients is ensuring the Lifestyle Carers share similar interests with their clients.

“I work hard matching our carers to our clients. That familiar, consistent face builds trust each day. We want our clients to feel safe and happy, so they can be themselves with our carers,” she explains.

Stephanie at home with Carinity carer, Juiletta, comes alive when she's sitting at her sewing machine
Stephanie at home with Carinity carer, Juiletta, comes alive when she’s sitting at her sewing machine.

It is these common beliefs and interests that have built Stephanie’s trust in Sharene and Juiletta.

“I can’t cut straight anymore, so I get Juiletta to do that. And she sews the buttons on now too. Sharene is also a sewer, so when the machine jams, she knows how to fix it quickly. We’re back sewing in no time,” Stephanie said.

“Knowing that I was there with Sharene gave me the confidence to go along to the seniors’ coffee morning at the Pub Lane Tavern. And I’m so glad that I went – once I walked into the pub and sat down, I struck a line with the lady sitting opposite and she smiled right back at me. I knew I was in a place where I belonged.”

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