Please say hello to Tereza – 83 years youngOctober 6, 2021
At 83 years of age and living alone since her husband died several years ago, Tereza loves it when her CatholicCare support workers come to visit to take her on walks or outings.
“I’m a people person!” she says. “I just love seeing people and talking to them.”
The COVID pandemic has meant that Tereza can’t get out as often as she used to and has brought an end to some of her favourite outings, including the movies and coffee dates, so her visits from Kate and Gail from CatholicCare are extra important these days.
“I look forward to it very much,” she says. “Whoever they send, they’re absolutely perfect. I just love them, and I want people to appreciate what they are doing for us. I like to go out to have morning tea or see a movie and before the virus started, I used to go to Gosford Leagues Club and listen to jazz music there. But now, with the lockdown, we can’t do that, so we go for a walk together instead. Sometimes we go to the new boardwalk in Terrigal and that’s lovely. We talk about anything and everything and if I need anything done, they help me.”
Tereza’s visits from CatholicCare support workers are part of the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), which funds low level needs, such as domestic assistance.
For those seniors at the start of the adventure into aged care, CHSP can enable them to access a range of services to assist them to live independently at home, while getting the practical and social supports they need. Services can be tailored to best suit the client’s individual needs.
CatholicCare prides itself on the quality of its team, with support staff who are passionate about their work and focus on building consistent trusting relationships.
Support worker, Kate Jones, says she has been visiting Tereza for almost five years, after previously working in disability services for CatholicCare Broken Bay.
Currently, she visits Tereza on a Friday and another Support Worker visits her on Sundays.
“Tereza has a wonderful family, including a daughter who lives here on the Coast who’s very good to her, but like with all of us during this COVID pandemic, she feels quite isolated at the moment because she can’t get out and do her regular social activities,” Kate says.
“At the moment, due to the lockdown restrictions, we can really only go out for a drive or a walk together, so that’s what we’ve been doing. It’s about listening and talking together, to keep her spirits lifted. She likes talking about her life, which has certainly been interesting. She’s just delightful.”
Kate says she loves her work in aged care with CatholicCare.
“It’s the people you meet, and you hear some wonderful stories. These people have got so much to say. I just love it,” she says. “I’ve got other clients as well, with different needs. I sometimes take them to doctors’ appointments and that kind of thing. It’s very fulfilling.”
Tereza says she has been blessed with a wonderful family who “are so good to me”, but she appreciates the extra social outlet of her visits from CatholicCare.
“I don’t know what I would do without them to be truthful,” she says. “They have become my friends and I really cherish our time together.”
For more information about our Services for Seniors please call 1800 324 924 or visit www.catholiccaredbb.org.au.