Supporting Mary connect

Getting the right support can make a difference in the life of someone living alone.

Mary, age 94, is a personable woman with an active and inquiring mind residing in an independent living unit in a popular retirement village in the Shoalhaven.  Mary contacted Shoalhaven Neighbourhood Services (SNS) early this year from the hospital in which she had been staying for some time as she recovered from a hip replacement.  Mary was initially interested in short term support and transport to help her with shopping and other personal business as she completed her recovery at home and regained her strength. 

Mary soon met Elisabeth, one of our wonderful social support volunteers who also lives near by and felt an immediate bond with her.  As Mary started to settle back into her home and to recuperate, she welcomed Elisabeth’s company and the opportunity to get away from home and into the community.

Mary noted that she, like many, had been self-isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic for two years and she now wanted to resume a more active lifestyle to rebuild her strength and wellbeing.  She also noted that she had a computer station set up at home but wanted to learn how to improve her online skills and how to use conferencing software like Teams and Zoom to get better connected to others online.  Mary was also keen to learn how to get the most out of her mobile phone features including how to download and use apps (applications).

We are fortunate in having David, who is a bit of an IT guru, on our support team and he offered to provide Mary with a series of weekly IT training sessions over a 6 week period. Mary accepted the offer and has proved to be one of David’s best students. 

In the ensuing months, Mary has maintained her commitment to be more physically and socially active and has enjoyed many opportunities to get out and about with Elisabeth’s support.  Life is not without its ups and downs of course and Mary did experience a setback to her plans recently when she had an unexpected fall and found herself back in hospital.

True to her great good spirit, she does not plan to let this setback keep her down for long. She is now home again with plans firmly in place to resume her new lifestyle as soon as she is physically able and Elisabeth stands ready and willing to be there for her when she is.

Click here to become a member of Shoalhaven Neighbourhood Services now and help people like Mary stay active in her community.

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