As newlyweds, Barbarah and her husband moved to Tauranga to build a home for themselves, start a family, enjoy the quieter pace of life and build memories. Barbarah’s husband joined the police force. Within a few years they had three children but, sadly, Barbarah’s husband passed away.
Decades later, Barbarah’s children have left home, but she still lives in the same house she and her husband built and where she raised her three children.
As a child I had polio. Now I have a spinal condition which means I’m in a wheelchair, although I’ve remained pretty independent until about a year ago. I got to a point where I could no longer pivot transfer from my bed into the wheelchair … different things like that became difficult. I spent a little time in hospital, and it became obvious that I would need some support when I returned home.
One thing I was adamant about was that I wanted to remain in my own home. This is where all my memories are. This is where I raised our three children. I intend to stay here as long as I can but to do that I needed help with some everyday tasks.
Barbarah phoned the team at Visionwest Home Healthcare and now has two carers come in three times a day.
I’m eternally grateful that the coordinators at Visionwest listened to my needs and were able to put together a care package for me. That wasn’t easy because I need to be transferred from chair to bed and vice versa via a sling. My carers have been brilliant though.
Going from being totally independent to having to rely on others for some of the things most people take for granted is not always easy, but Barbarah feels comfortable with this transition.
It seemed like a big thing to start with. I had two weeks in care at a respite house where I got used to the equipment that was needed to help me. When I came home, the girls [her Visionwest support workers] made it so easy to get used to the new lifestyle and care I needed that now it just seems totally natural.
Like many older people, remaining in a home crammed with memories and maintaining as much independence as possible is important to Barbarah. She’s been in the same house for 47 years and is adamant that she doesn’t feel ready to go into care, preferring to stay where her children grew up. That wouldn’t be possible without Visionwest Home Healthcare.
The thing with home support is that it goes beyond just the care I receive. I’ve got to know my support workers so that they are friends. They know my family and take a real interest in me as a person.
The truth is, I couldn’t stay in my own home without them. Visionwest has arranged a special bed with hoists to lift me in and out of it and other specialised equipment for around the house. It’s also a real comfort to know there are people calling on me to check that I’m safe and well. That’s a real comfort to me and to my family too.
If a friend asks about home healthcare, Barbarah happily recommends Visionwest.
A lot of my friends are astounded at what my carers do for me. My family are impressed with the care I receive also. It’s so fantastic just to be able to be comfortable in my own home surrounded by memories of a wonderful life and with neighbours I’ve known for years.
To find out how Visionwest Home Healthcare can help you or a loved one, click here.