Growing older doesn’t have to mean losing your independence, or moving into an aged care home. The right support can help families stay together and enjoy life for years to come.
Two seniors who have experienced this care are Bach Tuyet and Van Bong.
After migrating from Vietnam to Australia as refugees in the 1970s, the couple made Sydney their permanent home. Together, they raised six beautiful children and became involved in the local church. Van Bong worked as a labourer while Bach Tuyet looked after the home.
Life became challenging, though, when Van Bong was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and asthma over 10 years ago.
Bach Tuyet became her husband’s full time carer, and took over all the housework and maintenance jobs. Although she had help from her children, the load eventually became too much. She applied for a Level 4 Home Care Package for her husband and hired a provider, but unfortunately, they were unable to speak Vietnamese. Bach Tuyet had to call her daughter to translate every time she spoke to someone, which made it difficult to feel truly comfortable with their care.
Finding the right kind of support
After doing some research, Bach Tuyet changed providers to Home Caring Smithfield. She discovered that their team didn’t just better match Van Bong’s needs – most importantly, they spoke Vietnamese. “My husband’s case manager, Yen Nguyen, is Vietnamese, so I can call her directly which is very convenient. I’m very happy with her service,” she says.
To enable Von Bong to continue living at home, Home Caring assisted with modifying the couple’s bathroom to make it wheelchair-accessible. They arranged for Van Bong to have spa therapy while his dedicated carer, Trinh Le, helps with tasks like showering, transport, housework and purchasing aids such as socks, pads and a lift chair.
“Trinh Le is dedicated, helpful and very caring,” says Bach Tuyet. “I’m really pleased with the whole team. They give plenty of advice too, which is very helpful to us.”
Adapting to growing needs
After a couple of months, Bach Tuyet also started experiencing health issues. After talking to the Home Caring team, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that she qualified for a Level 2 Home Care Package, and could also receive support alongside her husband.
“When I started receiving Home Caring’s services for myself, I was invited to a special meeting with all of the other clients. I could get to know other people, listen to a speaker talk about health eating and exercise, and enjoy a Christmas party with food,” says Bach Tuyet.
“I’m so thankful I got to do this. This has been a huge help to me, especially during the latest lockdown,” she says.
Most importantly, Home Caring has helped Bach Tuyet and Van Bong achieve what matters most to them: living independently at home, amongst their family and local church community. Getting support has helped them stay close to the people they love, in familiar surroundings. Bach Tuyet is so happy with her support that she encourages friends in a similar situation to reach out for support.
“I always pray for the Australian government, and I’m thankful that they’ve given a helping hand to help my community,” adds Bach Tuyet.
“I’m really thankful I can still live with my husband, and I thank Home Caring for their services to help us live independently at home.”