Care and companionship can make all the difference
Like many older people, our Customer Christel Fooks didn’t want to be a burden on her children after her husband’s death. She was living in her own home but was reluctant to ask for help and was struggling with loneliness and isolation. Spending a few hours each week with a KinCare Home Care Worker has made all the difference to Christel.
The retired nurse, who raised a large family of 10 children, has dedicated her whole life to helping others. Even now Christel knits beanies for the neonatal ward at Nepean Hospital and blankets for other KinCare Customers who are wheelchair bound. However now that her husband has passed away and her children are living all around the world, Christel admits she sometimes feels lost.
“It’s very hard when you’re totally on your own sometimes. You feel very lost,” Christel says.
“The last two and a half years were very bad, I lost a husband and I lost a daughter. It’s hard to get over that, but life goes on.”
“I call her my angel because she is more than a carer. She is in every way a good friend,”
Having lived a life of helping others, even after the death of her husband Christel was reluctant to ask for help from her children.
“I don’t rely on my children too much because I didn’t bring them into the world to look after me,” she says.
“I’m sure they get upset that I don’t ring them and ask for help, but they have their own lives to live.”
It wasn’t until a social worker let her know that in home care could offer the companionship she needed that Christel realised the difference a little help would make.
KinCare’s Home Care Worker Michelle has been visiting Christel weekly since 2015. The pair have formed a close relationship and Christel now sees Michelle as a dear friend.
“I call her my angel because she is more than a carer. She is in every way a good friend,” Christel says.
“She makes my life very enjoyable. I count the days until she comes back.”
Michelle visits Christel weekly to take her on outings around her community or to simply enjoy some quality time together at Christel’s home.
“The time that she is here, it’s a different life. I have someone to talk to. I can talk to myself but I don’t answer myself back yet, that day will come,” Christel jokes.
“She knows more about me than I know about myself.”
Having companionship for just a few hours each week has had a direct impact on Christel’s quality of life and Christel is grateful for the care, support and friendship Michelle offers her.