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
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.