Life stories: How home care helps Anna remain independent at home at 103

Anna is 103 and lives on her own at home peacefully and happily. She has family nearby to help her, as well as home care services that she receives through a level 4 home care package from St Louis.

The intent of home care has always been to help people live independently at home for as long as possible. Anna is a shining example of an elderly South Australian who has chosen to remain in the comfort of her own home with the support of home care.

“I love my garden and I am very happy with the help I get because it means I can stay home.”

Anna worked as a physiotherapist for adults and children with polio

Anna has helped many people over the years in her work as a physiotherapist, supporting them to keeping their bodies as physically able as possible. She studied physiotherapy at the University of Adelaide in 1938 and following graduation, worked at Ashford House for fifteen years from 1949-1964, helping children with cerebral palsy. She also worked with children who developed mobility problems from the polio virus during the 1940’s.

“I became a physio when I was 21, studying for three years at the University of Adelaide in 1938. There were five of us, only women. Back then it was mostly women doing physio. Men began to study physiotherapy after the war,” Anna explains. “After my children were born I had a 7 year break, then I went back to work in the mornings and I continued to work until I was 59.”
“I enjoyed my work with children in hospital who needed rehabilitation for polio. We had to start with basic movements and build from there. I also visited people’s homes and helped them with their arthritis and other issues the elderly can have and I loved the work.”
“When I finished my training, we didn’t have to apply for a job, the work was just there. We were ushered into the lines of work that we did. I never applied for a job through my life, I was always asked to take a job. But I feel very lucky, I had a job I loved and then when I finished up because my back began to hurt, I took up spinning and dyeing, and knitting wool and silk which I also loved to do.”

How Anna’s home care package helps her at home

Anna has had a level 4 home care package for four years and this includes a carer who visits her daily. She is assisted with dressing and grooming which she needs a little help with nowadays. After a shoulder injury recently, we had to step up our care and provide rehabilitation as well as more assistance with personal grooming. But we hope to have Anna back to what she was doing before this injury.

“I’m 103 now and a bit unsteady on my feet. When I broke my shoulder, I needed help to put my shoes on especially. They [St Louis Home Care] have been very very good and Rosemary [her carer] has been a treasure.”

Anna also used her home care package to maintain the garden she loves, to do the grocery shopping, clean the house and go to appointments.

Anna also used her home care package to maintain the garden she loves, to do the grocery shopping, clean the house and go to appointments.
“I feel safe at home and I have a good son and he is a great support, and wonderful grandchildren. My granddaughter who is 51 takes me to lunch every Wednesday, and my grandson who is 50 takes me to lunch on Sundays. My granddaughter also plays scrabble with me on Saturdays.”

How a home care coordinator helps Anna live the life she wants at home

AnnMarie is Anna’s home care coordinator and she reviews Anna’s home care support plan with her care worker Rosemary. Together with Anna, they ensure that her home care continues to deliver the help that will support Anna to remain at home independently, comfortably and safely.

“AnnMarie has helped very much, I can ring her if I have any problems. I think St Louis do a wonderful job.”

What are you favourite days at home?

“I think Wednesday when my granddaughter takes me out for lunch. She looks out for something different all the time. I also do a spinning and knitting class on Wednesday every second Wednesday. She picks me up and takes me there and then we go to lunch.

I love my garden I want to stay at home and I am very happy with the help I get because it means I can stay home.”

What do you like about the way St Louis delivers your home care?

“Everything, what’s not to like. They treat me very well. I can keep my independence and I like that lovely people are looking after me.”

What’s the best advice you've ever been given that you'd like to share?

“Treat people the way you want to be treated.”

What would you say to people thinking about home care but concerned about maintaining their independence?

“Well, have it! I believe there is a big waiting list. You don’t lose your independence, you keep your independence because of the help.”

Call us to discuss how home care helps you to maintain your independence

Having a home care package means you can stay at home for longer. Home care services are delivered for you specifically, according to your needs. You don’t have someone different coming to your home every visit, you have the same carer and the same home care coordinator who get to know you and what you need at home to remain safe, comfortable and happy.

As your needs change, we alter our services to keep supporting you in the best way possible. We help you live the life you want, in the way you want. Call St Louis Home Care Adelaide on 8332 0950 or St Louis Home Care Victor Harbor on 8551 1481 to find out how a home care package will help you at home.

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