Ann Francis was first put in touch with Community Gateway in 2017 to receive domestic assistance for things such as cleaning around the house.
Earlier this year, Ann was discharged from hospital after an extended stay following a serious fall. Her Support Coordinator visited her once she had returned home and recommended that Ann access additional supports, specifically our Nursing service. By providing Nursing supports, we can help people to live better and for longer in their own homes. We have Registered Nurses on staff across our three locations (Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Kempsey) who provide supports such as wound care, injury rehabilitation, blood pressure monitoring and can also help clients to liaise with other medical practitioners.
Ann has been receiving support from our Nowra-based Nurse, Kerrie who visits her on a weekly basis, “When I came out of hospital, I couldn’t do anything – I couldn’t cook, couldn’t get up off the lounge, I could barely walk and use my right arm.”
While having domestic assistance helped Ann rest and regain some strength, Ann credits our Nursing Service and the regular visits from Nurse Kerrie with her recovery, “I think it’s absolutely wonderful. Kerrie gives me so much encouragement…to make me feel more confident in myself and to keep trying.”
Ann has trouble breathing so relies on an oxygen machine most of the time. Nurse Kerrie has been working with Ann to improve her physical fitness and rely less on the oxygen, “If I’m having a good day, we’ll go for a walk.”
Nurse Kerrie says, “We sourced an oxygen monitor for Ann so that she can check her levels when she takes the oxygen mask off. Last week, we went for a walk without Ann’s oxygen or walking frame and were able to work through some breathing and relaxation techniques afterwards to get her oxygen levels back to normal.”
The Community Gateway Nursing Services allows our staff to provide a holistic perspective and approach to improving a person’s health. After working with Ann for a period of time, Nurse Kerrie has been able to identify the type of things that motivate Ann to get the most out of their time together, “One of the things I like to do with Ann is reflect back and look at how far we’ve come. This helps put everything into perspective and shifts the focus from what can sometimes be overwhelming future goals. This also allows her to be proud of her accomplishments so far.”
Ann started accessing our Nursing Service in February of this year, just before the world shut down as a result of Covid-19. The obvious impacts on the economy and employment were felt around the world, but it was issues of isolation, safety and access to services that our teams frequently see first-hand.
Nurse Kerrie says, “In the midst of the Covid-19 precautions and subsequent lockdown, people living alone had a great deal of difficulty accessing medical appointments because telehealth took over.”
Ann’s health issues and age put her in a high-risk category for Covid-19, so ensuring her safety was paramount. “One of the biggest things for Ann was her safety. The introduction of Covid-19 was a risk, so we got her a contactless thermometer so she can check the temperature of anyone who visits her.”
The virus put limitations on many people’s usual way of doing things, but Ann says that Kerrie has helped to fill that gap, “I think in that sense, she came into my life at the perfect time. I really enjoy her company and I don’t know what I’d do without her!”
For more information on Community Gateway’s Nursing Service, see our website or call our friendly team on 1300 657 473.