Great care is all about empathy: Ron and Sandra’s story
Great home care is like buying someone a present. To choose a gift they will love and appreciate, you need to understand the person: their personality, interests and needs.
Care is the same. It takes empathy and a listening ear to understand what a person truly needs, and how to offer meaningful support. This is certainly the case with two of our precious clients at HomeCaring.
Ron and Sandra live in south west suburban Sydney. Although they enjoy being part of the community, this has been difficult in recent years due to their health. They can’t walk far or stand for too long, which has impacted their ability to move freely around their own home. Sandra also experiences knee problems, which makes getting in and out of certain vehicles very difficult.
In October last year, Ruby Akrong, manager of HomeCaring Prestons, stepped in to help Sandra and Ron regain the independence they had lost. The first thing she did was listen. Rather than simply assuming what they wanted, she spent time chatting to the couple about their needs: what they struggled with, what they liked and didn’t like about their previous care experience, the activities they enjoyed doing and what they wanted help in.
“I looked closely at Sandra and Ron’s situation and didn’t make any assumptions,” said Ruby. “Like with all of my clients, only when I know exactly what they require do I try my best to meet their needs.”
After talking to the couple, Ruby organised for an occupational therapist to visit their home and assess their situation. She then went shopping with them to choose equipment that would make their life easier, such as a lift chair and aids that Ron could use to get out of bed more easily.
Dedicated carers visited them regularly to help with everyday tasks and housework. The team was flexible and worked according to Sandra and Ron’s schedule. “There were times they needed someone to come on a different day, so we made that happen. I would also take the initiative, go there myself and take them wherever they needed – shopping, buying medication, things like that,” says Ruby.
What mattered most to Sandra, though, was the details. The HomeCaring team made sure that when they arranged transport for the couple, they specifically sent a car that Sandra could get and out of – something she hadn’t had access to in the past.
“The team got it spot on! This was important to me, as I have trouble with my knees. It was important that we had a vehicle that we can get in and out of,” says Sandra. “Ruby’s personality made it easier too. She has a wonderful laugh! You could laugh along with her.”
Ron agrees. “Ruby brought us back to life; she knows what we need, especially with our mobility issues,” he says. “She could not help us enough; she’s lovely. She goes out of the way for you … we have a great service.”
This is the HomeCaring way: we listen, understand and act according to our client’s needs. “Trust goes a long way; so does understanding where people are coming from,” explains Ruby. “It’s like buying a present. You can’t buy the right present for someone until you know who they are and what they want. Care is the same – once you understanding someone, you can provide the right type of care.”
This has made all the difference for Sandra and Ron. With HomeCaring’s help, they are living independently at home and once again doing the things they enjoy, which is perhaps one of the best presents you can receive.