A local Bombala family is highlighting the importance of values-based aged-care after their elderly mother's condition improved significantly following a move into Currawarna residential care home.
Gwen Kimber, 90, has lived her whole life in Bombala. Later in life she lost her husband and remained in her own home.
Gwen suffers from a variety of medical conditions and her two sons, Brett, Warren and his wife Frances, became her main carers. As her condition worsened, Gwen eventually found herself in hospital and her family were advised to look for palliative care options.
When Gwen arrived at Currawarna in 2018, Karen Brownlie, facility manager, was on duty.
"Gwen did not look well at all. She had lost about 30 kilos in weight and she was very withdrawn," Ms Brownlie said.
Due to her long struggle with illness, Gwen's family had been preparing for her health to further deteriorate; however, nothing could have prepared them for what happened next.
"Mum rallied and her condition continued to improve quickly. After two weeks, we realised that we needed to prepare to have mum stay at Currawarna a little longer," Warren, Gwen's son said.
"Currawarna has been the best place for her. They provide the regular individual care that mum really needs in an environment that encourages family connection," Mr Warren said.
Gwen is still a Currawarna resident today, with her family enjoying visits on most days.
"I am so proud of Gwen and my team who have made a difference to her wellbeing. It shows the value of care homes and the benefits of individualised care to residents," Ms Brownlie said.
Helen Emmerson, CEO of Southern Cross Care NSW/ACT, said stories like Gwen's, highlight the importance of the aged care industry in caring for elderly Australians.
"We have seen a lot of changes in the aged care industry over the past few years, with increasing pressures and tighter regulations.
"The Catholic Health Australia Fight for Better Aged Care campaign has recently launched in the Eden-Monaro region. This campaign helps to put the spotlight on what needs to change or what can be done more effectively in the sector to ensure all Australians have access to quality care - whether in a facility or home care.
"As a not-for-profit organisation, with many homes across regional NSW and the ACT, we hope this campaign helps capture the attention of the right people in our community who can work with local providers. It is through a collaborative approach that aged care providers can further extend our important services in the region," Ms Emmerson said.
Currawarna has been providing quality care to the Bombala community since 1979.