Main­tain­ing in­de­pen­dence

LifeStyle Wimmera - - INSIDE -

Main­tain­ing a de­gree of in­de­pen­dence is a fun­da­men­tal part of life for most, re­gard­less of age and cir­cum­stance. Health ser­vices in the Wim­mera of­fer many peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to live in their own homes and en­joy rel­a­tively nor­mal lives.

Joan Rigg, 86, of Nhill is a prime ex­am­ple of some­one ac­cess­ing ser­vices that help res­i­dents main­tain their roles as busy mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

Mrs Rigg con­tin­ues to be able to live at home de­spite com­plex health is­sues, re­ceiv­ing per­sonal care three times a week, weekly home care and us­ing a va­ri­ety of respite ser­vices which in­cludes shop­ping, gar­den­ing ser­vices and al­lied-health ser­vices such as po­di­a­try.

Hav­ing this help al­lows Mrs Rigg to pur­sue her hob­bies such as sewing, em­broi­dery, word searches, low­main­te­nance gar­den­ing and weekly shop­ping trips, vis­its and events in the com­mu­nity with her per­sonal care worker Lynne

Rethus.

It also pro­vides her son and carer a chance to have a break to pur­sue other ac­tiv­i­ties.

Sim­i­lar to many peo­ple who have reached their 80s in the Wim­mera, Mrs Rigg has had a life­time of fas­ci­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. The el­dest of seven chil­dren in a fam­ily in Eng­land, she worked in a cot­ton-mill weav­ing fac­tory at 14 af­ter com­plet­ing her school­ing.

She em­i­grated to Aus­tralia with her hus­band, who worked with Smith and Nephew in 1963, and set­tled at Nhill where she had two chil­dren, who still live there.

West Wim­mera Health Ser­vice per­sonal care worker Lynne Rethus on a shop­ping trip with Joan Rigg of Nhill.

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