Meeting Cameron is a reminder that a positive attitude and a humble spirit willing to accept support when it’s needed, coupled with help from people who have experience and expertise in home healthcare, can add up to a life that is an inspiration to others.
Cameron used to go rock climbing and kayaking. Relaxation was a jog through the Waitākeres to Karekare, down the beach to the lighthouse at Whatipu, and back home. Then he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As his ability to walk was increasingly affected, he went from using a walking stick, to crutches, to a walking frame, and now a motorised wheelchair.
“The diagnosis in 2007 changed everything for me. It’s not just walking that’s difficult. It affects my entire body so a lot of things I once did are no longer possible. Some, like cooking and other kitchen tasks, are dangerous. I just don’t trust myself with a hot frying pan or boiling a kettle. I’m not able to vacuum or clean either. I even need help showering and dressing.”
The answer for Cameron and his wife – who also has multiple sclerosis – was support from Visionwest who provide a Home Healthcare Support Worker seven days a week. One Support Worker visits at the beginning of each day to help with showering and dressing, the other comes later to cook dinner for them. Once a week a Support Worker does their shopping and cleans the house.
“Tasks that most people take for granted can be a real mission for people like me. For instance, it takes me three or four hours to shower and dress myself. Without our Support Worker, who can do it in about 30 minutes, our entire day would be taken up with basic tasks.”
Cameron describes the difference Visionwest has made as, ‘transformational.’
“I know sweeping or vacuuming the floor doesn’t sound hard, but when you’re in a wheelchair, it’s near impossible. The reality is, we’d be lost without support from Visionwest.”
Every month, on average, Visionwest Home Healthcare provide in-home support to 6,361 older adults or people living with disabilities enabling them to remain in the comfort and safety of their own homes.