Our Veterans Are in Safe Hands

When Jim's wife Kathleen passed away suddenly, he was struck with overwhelming grief and great uncertainty. He could not see how he would be able to keep living in his home without her and was worried about his future.

Jim relaxing in his garden with Cookie the cat and Max the dog

It wasn’t just himself he worried about, it was what would happen the Cookie the cat and Max the dog if he went into a nursing home. He was finding it difficult to do everything on his own, as his wife Kathleen had been his carer and he relied on her for daily activities.

As a veteran with a gold card, Jim was eligible for the Veteran’s Home Care program. His GP acted quickly to get services in his home started right away through White Oak as they many of their patients were clients already.

We started Jim immediately on a program involving daily care and support in his home. As the weeks went his GP saw his confidence slowly return, and told us that he reported being comfortable in his home on his own for the first time. We were happy to let his GP know how far he had come from our first visit too and he was making good progress.

As an insulin-dependent diabetic, Jim then needed to access the DVA Community Nursing program for twice-daily injections and began to worry once again. He was getting along okay each day, but he realised that he was needing more and more assistance to continue to be involved in the community from his family. This type of support was not able to be covered by his DVA programs and he did not want to be a burden.

White Oak worked with his GP to help Jim access a level two home care package. This package meant that on top of the home and clinical care provided by the DVA, Jim would also be able to access support to keep him from being isolated and alone in his home. It also meant that he had goals to work towards to ensure that he was getting assistance with the activities that meant the most to him - and of course to Max and Cookie.

Jim set a goal to get strong enough to walk Max a few times a week. With the help of his support worker Susan they started walking to the park at the end of his street. There, she would continue to walk Max around the park where he could watch while he caught his breath for the return trip home.

Kathleen had always been the one to walk Max, and Jim had been feeling bad that Max was not getting out as much as he could be. After several months, and with the encouragement of Susan, Jim became confident enough to walk with Max around the park with her. He still preferred to walk Max while Susan was with him in case he needed a rest, and he was worried about falling. He felt good that he could help Max and had reached this milestone of being able to complete the entire walk.

Susan also helped Jim take Cookie to the vet one day when she was sick and he was very pleased. Jim sat with Cookie and kept her calm while Susan drove them there safely. 

The home care package also meant that Jim could go to Church on Sundays and he started attending every week for the first time since Kathleen had passed away.

Two years later, Jim is safe and comfortable in his home with Max and Cookie and is a lot more confident about their future together.

Jim feels that he, Max and Cookie are in safe hands with White Oak.

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