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Meet Harry

Watch this video to follow one person's story as they make the transition from independent to assisted living.
This is Harry. In his 20s, Harry married his childhood sweetheart, and together, they created a loving family home for their two children and various family pets. [Family] Cheese! For years, Harry worked as a humanitarian aid coordinator, travelling the world to assist communities in need. Several years after Harry retired, his wife Ruby passed away. But Harry continued to live in their family home with Jetson, his faithful canine companion.
Not long after that, Harry had a stroke. It didn’t take long for everyone to realise, including Harry, [TV] Something devastating– that he could no longer live by himself. Not only was he forgetting to take his medication, he was also having trouble moving about. After a medical assessment, the difficult decision was made between Harry, his family and the healthcare team to move into an aged-care facility. [Doctor] … only my suggestions. [Harry] I understand. Harry misses his home and he misses his friends.
His son, Michael, lives overseas, while his daughter, Sarah, is busy with a family of her own. Most of all, Harry misses Jetson. On top of all this, Harry now has arthritis. He also struggles with his hearing and needs to wear hearing aids, which annoy him. Recently, his doctor diagnosed him with depression. Harry dreams of playing cards again with his friends. [Harry’s friends] Play another round. He also wants to visit his son and spend more time with his daughter and grandchildren. And he dearly wants to see his beloved Jetson. [Harry] Good boy.

As people age and experience changes to their health, accessing formal care and support services is an option that may need to be considered.

Making the transition from independent to assisted living can be a confronting experience for all those involved.

What does this mean?

For older people, this means coming to terms with the difficult realisation that they can no longer do everything they used to do, when they want to do it, unless they have some kind of assistance.

Likewise, the family and friends of an older person come to recognise that their loved one requires a different level of care. Sometimes, navigating this transition can be stressful and confusing.

Meanwhile, the busy healthcare staff and professionals responsible for the day-to-day care of older people often don’t know a lot about the rich, varied and highly individual life experiences of the older people who come into their care.

Without an adequate model of care in place, these changes can be difficult for all parties to understand and manage.

Your task

Watch the video to gain a better insight of one older person’s journey as they move from living at home to an aged-care facility.

When you’re done, share your own experiences of a similar transition in the comments.

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Caring for Older People: a Partnership Model

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