Helping Hand expand

HELPER: Local woman Helen Kritcos (right) regularly receives a Helping Hand with her grocery shopping from staff member Christine Norman (left).

HELPER: Local woman Helen Kritcos (right) regularly receives a Helping Hand with her grocery shopping from staff member Christine Norman (left).

Helping Hand Aged Care has expanded its footprint in regional South Australia, helping senior Whyalla residents continue to live independently in their home through its Home Care program.

The organisation launched the program in the steel city in May, providing in-home support, such as help with meal preparation, transportation, gardening, shopping, medication supervision and personal care, and is now providing services to 15 people in town.

This includes Helen Kritcos who underwent a hip replacement in 2017 and sustained a broken leg in 2018. She receives Home Care support from Helping Hand.

Helping Hand staff member Christine Norman is one of the people who supports Mrs Kritcos, driving her to the shopping centre for her regular food shop and visit to the chemist, bank and post office.

“I waddle around my house on my walker,” says Mrs Kritcos.

“I do all my own washing. I don’t need any help indoors. And I can walk down to the deli. But I can’t walk without the walker so I can’t push a trolley so I really need the support for the shopping.

“Everybody’s really nice. They know what they’re up to. When Christine and I go to the shops – we have a good laugh.”

Helping Hand also provides gardening support for Mrs Kritcos. Christine started working with Helping Hand soon after she completed studies in Aged Care and Disability Services at TAFE SA and described the role as ‘really rewarding’.

“I had worked in hospitality most of my life and wanted a change. I volunteered with children in Thailand about 18 months ago and it led me to want to help others, and that then led me into aged care,” Ms Norman said.

“I love being able to make a difference in our clients’ lives. It’s really rewarding seeing people being able to continue to live in their own homes. They cherish their independence and appreciate the support you provide.

“You strike up a friendship with them and I love hearing about the lives they have led and continue to lead.”

The federal government last week announced the rollout of an additional 10,000 Home Care packages, by July 2019, had started across the country.

These packages allow older Australians to remain living independently in their own homes by offering additional assistance to help them access nursing, home assistance, meal preparation and transport support.

Helping Hand General Manager Country Services Syd Farrell said he looks forward to the organisation helping even more Whyalla residents.

“It is important for older people to be able to access the services they need, from someone they can trust.” Mr Farrell said.

“Helping Had has a long history and strong reputation delivering home care services across the mid north and Eyre Peninsula.

“We know how important independence and choice is and we’re committed to delivering the services required to support people to stay at home for as long as possible.”

“We work closely with our clients to work out what their needs are and can help with every aspect of their day-to-day life, as well as providing access to our qualified health care services network.”