Every ‘thank you’ we receive is heart-warming. Some bring smiles to the faces of our caring staff. But when the home care team in Hobart received this email from client Roger Davidson, there were lumps in quite a few throats that simply would not go away.
And while Roger praised the whole team – carers and office staff – he singled out Personal Care Workers Denise Joss and Tracy Grimsey for special mention, referring to them as “family.”
“To all the carers, I say thank you for your excellent service. Denise and Tracy are my family! Many other carers have taken care of me – there are too many to name, it would fill up this page ... they are all dedicated to their jobs.”
Roger went on to pay special tribute to Denise. “I have known Denise for almost 12 years. She knows all my idiosyncrasies regarding my health and well-being. She knows my exercise routine and how I sometimes cheat. Her advice in all aspects is always appreciated. I trust her with everything and anything. She cares.”
There was praise for Care Advisor Caitlin Dixon too. “Caitlin was on the ball to make sure that my walker problem was corrected ASAP. I thank her very much for this. To me she is a very understanding and helpful lady.”
And there was special mention to the office staff too. “I thank you all for your excellent service.
I can only guess that due to COVID-19, you have all worked to your limits. I, as one of your clients thank you all at Uniting AgeWell, for your excellent service in looking after us.”
So who is this kind man behind the lovely letter? And what prompted him to write it? He’s 85-year-old Roger, who lives with his blue budgie Wrecks (“because he scatters seeds around and wrecks everything”) in arguably one of the oldest homes in Clarence, Hobart.
Roger has lived in the house, which belonged to his mother-in-law, for the last 25 years. It was built in 1817, has a fireplace in every room and is haunted! But the ghost, who both Roger and his late wife Wilma saw, is friendly.
Roger admits he’d be lost without the help he gets through his home care package. He joined Uniting AgeWell around 12 years ago after Wilma's death, and has been receiving services since then.
“I was in a pretty bad way after Wilma died, and Uniting AgeWell stepped in and looked after me. I wouldn’t be here without their help.”
His level three package means the great-grandfather gets help four days a week with housework, picking up groceries he orders online and some personal care. Tracy has a big “cook up” day on Wednesdays and whips up six or seven delicious meat-and-three-veg meals which Roger freezes and eats at nights.
Roger uses a walker and is being treated for kidney problems and other health issues.
And it was upgrading this walker for a new one that is more efficient and enables him to manoeuvre around the house more easily, that prompted this email of thanks.
“Within a short period of time I received a phone call from Caitlin advising me that arrangements had been made for me to be taken to Mobility 4 All Glenorchy, to check out a new walker. Denise was my escort. She went out of her way to make sure that the correct item was chosen. The staff at
the shop were also very helpful.”
Roger, who used to work in the administrative side of the former Hydro Electric Commission, has three daughters and used to be a keen trout fisherman.
He and Wilma were in to caravanning, and travelled the length and breadth of Australia.
Roger spends his days watching television, playing on the computer, reading and enjoying his days at home. And he has taught Wrecks to say “Pretty boy.”
The last word belongs to Ria Padman, Program Manager of our Home Care Team in Southern Tasmania.
“The team works so hard, they care so much,” she says, “and it’s wonderful for them to receive recognition like this for all that they do.”
And all that you do too, Ria! Well-deserved praise all round.Find out more about how Uniting AgeWell's Home Care Services