NATIONAL CARERS' WEEK: a little care goes a long way

Caring relationship: Respite is helping people like Janice and Malcolm Burgess of Murray Bridge by providing support and rest time for Malcolm on a regular basis. Photo: Supplied.
Caring relationship: Respite is helping people like Janice and Malcolm Burgess of Murray Bridge by providing support and rest time for Malcolm on a regular basis. Photo: Supplied.

This week, October 15-21, is National Carers Week.

The story of Malcolm Burgess highlights the vital role that carers play in our community, along with the importance of utilising support services to ensure that carers remain healthy themselves in their caring role.

80-year old Malcolm cares for his wife Janice, who accesses a Home Care Package through Resthaven Murray Bridge, Hills and Fleurieu Community Services.

Resthaven Manager Cecelia Oxborrow said: "Mrs Burgess has some complex care requirements, including peritoneal dialysis, but is able to continue to remain at home with the support of her husband."

"Unfortunately, the caring role was becoming more difficult for Mr Burgess.

“Despite this, they both prefer Mrs Burgess remain living at home,” she said.

"Resthaven Murray Bridge, Hills and Fleurieu Community Service staff discussed options with the couple, with a focus on their goal to both remain living at home."

"Mrs Burgess chose to have regular fortnightly respite at Resthaven Murray Bridge, along with community-based clinical staff to attend their home twice a day.

“Staff prepare the dialysis equipment to alleviate the heavy lifting, which is becoming difficult for Mr Burgess."

Resthaven Murray Bridge Manager, Residential Services, Debbie Lindner discussed the situation with Cecelia and her team, as well as the specialist clinical services team at Resthaven.

The team worked with Mr and Mrs Burgess to make the transition as soon as possible.

“We also consulted the specialist dialysis team from the Royal Adelaide Hospital," Debbie said.

"With Mrs Burgess enjoying a very successful stay in residential respite, Mr Burgess was able to take a break from his caring role, to ensure he remained healthy himself."

"Our fully trained community services team also made a plan to support him to safely manage the dialysis equipment in their home upon Mrs Burgess’ return."

Mrs Burgess says, "The main thing for Malcolm is to have a rest."

Cecelia says, "The couple continue to live at home together, and with the support of regular, planned residential respite for his wife, Mr Burgess is able to maintain his role as carer."

All’s well that ends well!​

The main thing for Malcolm is to have a rest.

Janice Burgess