Meet Robert and Darcy. Married for 46 years, they share 10 children, 24 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren between them.
Both were born in New Zealand and later settled in Australia, often moving from place to place for Robert’s work in the early days. Robert built boats, worked as a marine engineer, ran businesses and spent much time as a Captain on the high seas. Darcy learnt nursing, worked in aged care, managed Robert’s offices and took care of the children.
Travel has always been a big part of their life. Robert had lived in Papua New Guinea and visited many countries around the world. They both enjoyed travelling around Australia, often towing a caravan. When Darcy was in her 30s, she used to join Robert on his trips to the high seas, so much so that she’s now been put off boat trips forever thanks to the wild seas!
Robert however, has not lost his love of the sea. He would like nothing more than to be out working on the boats right now. He worked up until 2008, completing surveys on motor yachts and other boats in Queensland. In 2010, they moved to Sydney to live with their daughter.
Sydney has been good to them, being close to family, watching their grandson play football, enjoying their “fur grandbaby” Rocky and attending church with their daughter.
Earlier this year however, their world got a little bit smaller when Robert stopped driving. With the family at work during the day, they were suddenly restricted and only able to visit places that were walking distance away. While the local shopping centre was an enjoyable outing for Darcy, Robert struggled to find his place. Housework was also getting progressively harder for Darcy as she lived with painful acute arthritis and other chronic pain.
Valuing their freedom, Robert and Darcy decided to seek help from someone who wasn’t family. Thanks to BaptistCare, they receive Social Support once a week, Domestic Assistance once a week, and transport to get out and about, when required.
Talking about the first time they met with BaptistCare’s team they say, “The Care Facilitator when first visiting was amazing, clear and easily understood… not scripted, but friendly and caring.”
Even better is the relationship they have built with their Care Facilitator. “Our Care Facilitator is marvellous, we are a good match the three of us, and (she) is not only our Care Facilitator, but our friend too.”
The benefits have been pouring in since receiving care and support, as they are happier and healthier.
They say, “We have something to jot down in our calendar every week, we have someone else to help us if we need it when our daughter and son-in-law are at work and if we’re not well then we can book transport in place of walking.”
Not only that, Darcy now gets extra help with the housework and she says “It has given me more time and energy for enjoying and spending time with our family”.
Their advice is this – “Receiving care doesn’t have to feel like you’re losing independence.” Wise words from two adventurers who are now back to enjoying life.
BaptistCare’s YouChoose gives seniors choice and control, and places them firmly in charge of their care. Maintaining independence at home looks different for everyone, so customers can tailor a combination of care to support their wellbeing and enable them to continue to do the things they love.
If you or someone you love is looking for help with cleaning around the home, personal care, social support, transportation or respite, design a home care package today at YouChoose.org.au or call the YouChoose helpline on 1300 275 227.