Keith Netting spent many years as the sole carer of his wife Joy. But when her dementia progressed, he reached a point when he felt he had to ask for help.
“She started waking up in the night and I realised I could no longer manage on my own,” Keith said. “I spoke to my daughter Ros, and she contacted ACH Group.”
With help from ACH Group’s Aged Care Navigator Service, the family were visited at home by an advisor, who helped them understand what options were available and facilitated Joy’s transition to respite care at Perry Park Residential home, Port Noarlunga.
Keith’s daughter Ros said the help from ACH Group was invaluable at a difficult time for the family.
“We were all scared of different things – Dad was scared that he would not be able to afford residential care, I was scared that Mum, who is a social person, would be isolated. We didn’t know where to start,” Ros said. “Katrina (Reschke) came to us, we had a cup of coffee, she had all the forms we needed, and she took care of everything.”
Katrina helped them ask “the right questions”, navigate the My Aged Care website and secure a permanent home for Joy at ACH Group Residential Care facility Kapara at Glenelg South, a short distance from the family home.
At Kapara, Keith saw a flyer for ACH Group’s Sing for Joy choirs, based at Wynn Vale, Campbelltown, Glenelg South and Seaford.
Keith, 88, had always sung in choirs but had given it up six months ago to care for Joy full time.
“I have found it very interesting and I’m enjoying it,” Keith said. “Most of the choirs I have been part of were liturgical and now I’m trying modern songs and a lot of different rhythms.”
Keith said he appreciated the help he received from ACH Group.
“I was quite lost at the start, but Katrina helped no end, sorting out the papers we needed and dealing with Centrelink and all the red tape you have to go through,” he said. “There are so many things that you simply don’t think of. They’ve been very good and we’re pleased with the way things have turned out.”
Keith and his family also accessed ACH Group’s Dementia Specialist Advisory Service, launched last year to support people who were concerned about themselves, or a family member, who had dementia or memory loss.
ACH Group’s Teresa Moran says the service aims to help people who are faced with a diagnosis of dementia to plan for the future and cope with changes to independence and relationships.
“We also help people get a diagnosis, access services, stay healthy and live well with the challenges that dementia can bring.”
Founded in 2010, ACH Group’s Sing for Joy choirs provide a vehicle for people of all abilities to come together to learn, enjoy music and social connection.
Find out more about the Aged Care Navigator Service here