Consumer experience -Where respite is more than just a break

Bene introduces an innovative program provided by Flex Care physiotherapist, designed to improve health and happiness whilst providing the carer with a well earned break!

Claudio is an 84 year old Italian born gentleman currently receiving home care through Bene Aged Care.  With advancing Vascular Alzheimer’s, Chronic Lower Back Pain and Osteoarthritis, Claudio felt ‘down and depressed’ when reflecting on his decreased mobility and independence.

Claudio is lovingly cared for by his wife Lena and son David and at times it has been quite exhausting and is increasingly becoming more difficult to manage due to Claudio’s deteriorating cognition.

Bene referred Claudio to Flex Care for review and allied health support.  Together, Flex Care staff, Claudio and Lena agreed the Clinical Respite Program would be of most benefit and negotiated goals they wanted to achieve.

Claudio’s sessions have been incorporating cognitive stimulation, functional strengthening/activities, pain management and hands on therapy, delivered on a weekly basis in a 3 hour service. Due to the flexibility of the service and the unique skills set of the Flex Care staff, the program was delivered through a variety of platforms, including at Grange beach – which was Claudio’s first outing to the beach for over 10 years (needless to say he had a ball!)

Throughout the two months of the clinical respite program, Claudio and Lena reported an improvement in pain levels, supported by objective validated assessments.  Claudio, Lena and David noticed a huge difference in Claudio’s physical, and mental wellbeing.  Lena has reported to Flex Care staff that for the remainder of the day, and sometimes beyond, Claudio still has an elevated mood and sense of self-worth – especially when reading over their Cognitive Therapy Scrapbook (a working progress for all Clinical Respite Client’s).

Additionally, Lena and David have felt ‘more supported’ by the ongoing support and advice by Flex Care staff as Lena is able to attend her weekly catch ups with a group of friends for coffee and lunch; something which she has not been able to do for several years now due to her caring for Claudio.

Flex staff are confident Claudio will  exceed in achieving his original goals and set his sights to continue to show functional gains as well as improved mood and quality of life.

For more details of the program, please call Bene on 8131 2000.

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