Emerald Messenger

Fernlea Community Care has been caring for their local community since 2005 when Fernlea House opened its doors in Emerald after a long community campaign for accessible palliative care in the hills.

Since 2005, the services available through Fernlea have expanded but this community-driven, grassroots beginning set the tone and approach that today still informs and underpins Fernlea’s model of care. A model where the person being cared for is placed at the centre of everything we do.

At Fernlea, clients are called ‘guests’ because they are treated as guests in our own home. Fernlea guests are listened to. Their abilities, likes and dislikes are taken into account as an integral part of our service delivery. Fernlea guests maintain or regain control over their lives. Their age or illness is not the focus.

Fernlea offers two different programs to the local
community – Day Respite and In-Home Care.

Our centre-based Day Respite programs provide opportunities for people with a life-limiting illness, chronic condition or dementia to socialise, take part in activities and outings and to be pampered, as well as giving their carer a break during the day.

Day Respite guests can attend one or both of our two centres in Emerald (Tuesday – Friday) or in Berwick (Friday), where they will be cared for by qualified staff and trained volunteers. Much more than just a place to pass the time of day, the Day Respite service helps improve guests’ quality of life, and provides a chance for them to take time out to focus on themselves rather than their illness. Guests receive a home-cooked morning tea and lunch. Activities are tailored to match abilities and interests. Complementary therapies including Reiki and massage, as well as social interaction and personalised focused care are some of the special services available. Fernlea only takes a small number of Day Respite guests each day so the most attentive care can be provided and meaningful and supportive relationships can be built with guests and their carers.

Our Day Respite service is currently being offered in people’s homes until coronavirus restrictions are lifted and we can welcome guests back to our centres.

Fernlea In-Home Care service was developed because Fernlea knows that many people prefer to be at home, living as independently as possible, even when they aren’t well. They also know that carers sometimes need a break or some support too. Our In-Home Care program can provide personalised, tailored services to meet clients’ changing needs in their own home, including nursing, showering and grooming, meal preparation and feeding, light housework, shopping and companionship.

Long before in-home care became a government strategy, Fernlea’s founder and early supporters identified the importance of providing support for people with a palliative illness within a home-like environment and most importantly, within their local community.

Fernlea’s model of care across both our Day Respite and In-Home services, stands in stark contrast to the stories we are hearing from the Royal Commission into Aged Care. Fernlea staff and volunteers form deep, lasting relationships not only with the people they care for but also with their carers who are seen as partners. We see first-hand and in a very personal way, the challenges that ageing and dying present but our experience has also shown us what people who are ageing, frail or unwell need to live fulfilling, valued lives.

LYNNE TRENSKY
For more information visit fernlea.com.au or call 5968 6639

Categories: June 2020