Social support with a difference

When many people think of home care, they don’t tend to think about picnics by the beach with friends. But that’s exactly what Envigor is providing for two of its Gold Coast clients living with dementia.

John and Noela have become friends thanks to their shared Envigor Lifestyle Support Assistant Pam, who has started taking them on a picnic together to some of the Gold Coast’s most scenic spots.

Both John and Noela are living with dementia and their shared outings have become a highlight of their week.

“I’m with John every Monday from 9 am to 11 am and then we go and pick Noela up and we have a picnic,” says Pam.

As well as their shared picnics, John and Noela also enjoy a range of outings with their Envigor carers. Pam takes John out twice a week for drives and outings.

“John and I have been everywhere – we’ve been to Calypso Bay, Mount Tamborine and we went down to Surfers Paradise to look at the sandcastles. We also go down to the Spit near Sea World and sit there for quite a while and watch the boats go by. We go to Seaworld and have a cup of coffee,” says Pam

“John used to be a builder so I’m very conscious of taking John to new residential areas and something clicks with him when I do that because he used to build all the new homes.”

Marie Solien, Envigor Gold Coast’s care partner, says that Noela also enjoys a weekly shopping trip.

“Noela is a social butterfly and she likes to go op shopping, so each week a carer takes her op shopping. That’s her greatest passion – to be able to spend $10 on a couple of little outfits,” says Marie.

While these social outings are of great benefit to John and Noela, they are also of great comfort and help to their family carers.

John’s wife Barbara says that while her husband is out and about, she is able to have some time out and do jobs and errands that she may not be able to do while she’s caring for John.

“Envigor take John out four days a week and that’s a big help to me. There are lots of things he won’t do for me, but he’ll do for them. Taking him out gives me some breathing space,” says Barbara.

Marie says it’s this focus on a personalised service that encapsulates the Envigor way.

“What I try to do is focus on a boutique service, so if someone wants to go to church, that’s what we think is really important to them. It’s very individualised,” says Marie.

“It’s about keeping people in their own home and keeping couples together.”

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