Great care is about supporting the whole person: their body, mental health, social needs, and last
but not least, their heart.
Someone who has experienced the power of this kind of holistic care – and how it can truly change
your life for the better – is Kim Anh.
Kim Anh migrated to Australia from Vietnam in 1985 and devoted herself to raising her four children.
In recent years, though, she’s faced her fair share of hardship. After her long marriage ended, Kim
Anh experienced depression and struggled to find people she could confide in. Her health also
started to decline. She as she was diagnosed with hypertension, heart disease and osteoarthritis,
which made it very difficult for her to move and do the things she enjoys.
The importance of trust
Kim Anh’s situation started to change when she was discharged from Liverpool hospital a year ago. A
healthcare worker at the hospital referred her to Home Caring so she could receive support at
home. Although Kim Anh wasn’t sure what to expect, she immediately felt at ease when case
manager Thuy Ai Ho gave her a call and spoke to her in Vietnamese, her native tongue.
“In Vietnamese culture, it’s not easy to talk to males about personal issues, even a health
professional, so it was important for Kim Anh have a female case worker she can trust,” said Thuy Ai.
Thuy Ai talked to Kim Anh about what kind of support she wanted, and helped her develop a care
plan that focused on providing practical help with daily living – including independent living aids and
a lawn mowing service to help her take care of the garden.
Everything is delivered with Kim Anh’s cultural background in mind. “For example, after arranging
for a physiotherapist to provide an assessment for her osteoarthritis, we organised for Kim Anh to
receive massage and cupping therapy using her Home Care Package,” said Thuy Ai.
“Kim Anh was nervous about someone she didn’t know touching her for therapy, but she was
familiar and comfortable with cupping from Vietnamese traditional medicine. She was happy to this
form of therapy, so we were able to help her in a way that respected her wishes and took her
culture into consideration.”
Care that tends to the heart
One of the biggest challenges Kim Anh faced, though, was her mental health.
Living with depression meant that Kim Anh often found it difficult to open up to people. With this in
mind, Thuy Ai made an effort to check in regularly with her client – especially during the isolating
months of lockdown. She gradually built up a trusting relationship with Kim Anh, taking the time to
to provide a listening ear. To encourage Kim Anh, Thuy Ai gave her (and her other clients) a beautiful
succulent plant as a symbol of how strong she truly is, even in the midst of hard times.
It was these small acts of kindness that truly touched Kim Anh’s heart. “Whenever I feel happy, sad
or depressed I need to talk to someone,” said Kim Anh. “When I talk to Thuy Ai, she opens my heart.
I found I could talk to her things I held onto for ages. I felt relief from my depression.”
This relational approach to care has also helped Kim Anh come out of her shell and reach out to
others. “I have learned from Thuy Ai’s genuine care for me,” she said. “I now show others my
genuine caring, because I know how helpful it is, including one of my close friends.”
Kim Anh has also started recommending Home Caring’s services to others, most recently her older
sister who moved in with her. “I was excited when my older sister agreed to talk to Thuy Ai about a
package. Hopefully she can receive care too and we can continue to live independently,” she said.
“I appreciate Home Caring because when I felt lonely and depressed, they backed me. feel much
happier and greatly appreciate it. They are a lifesaver.”