01 December 2020

The little things that count

Independence has always been important to Queenslander Robert (Bob) Buchan.

Independence has always been important to Queenslander Robert (Bob) Buchan.
As a licensed builder and self-confessed introvert, Bob was drawn to the simple life. He required few acquaintances and even fewer material possessions.

Despite being born on the lucky (and easy to remember) date of 12/3/45, by late 2010 his experiences were anything but and Bob found himself facing serious money woes. “I was broke,” he says.
Bob was forced to move into a factory unit in an industrial area of Brisbane’s outer suburbs. He had no access to hot water and the unit was without a proper bedroom or kitchen. A blow-up mattress served as his bed.
But with a roof over his head and a ute in his driveway, Bob remained happy in his factory home for almost a decade. Then, it all changed when he fell ill and was taken to hospital.
A hernia in his throat meant Bob found it difficult to communicate and a fall resulted in ongoing balance issues. The accident meant Bob couldn’t move without his wheelie walker or other mobility aids. He concedes he spent much of his hospital days wondering if the world would be better off without him.
Bob soon realised he couldn’t go on as he had previously. Help came when he was approved for a Home Care Package and accepted help from the team at Just Better Care Gold Coast. They were heavily invested in seeing him regain the opportunity to lead a fulfilling, independent life.
For Bob, things were on the up. He started to set small targets and his life had changed almost beyond recognition.
Then, he was advised he was to be evicted by his landlord. He had to cancel his Home Care Package and spend two weeks living in his car. However, the local team at Just Better Care Gold Coast had a better plan.
After becoming aware of Bob’s unique situation, his Support Advisor and Community Support Professional, Deana, worked closely with Bob to assist with his accommodation requirements.
Four months ago, Bob was able to move into a studio unit and now has a couch, kitchen space, queen bed and shower to call his own. In addition, he has gained further independence through purchasing a laptop and phone to stay connected.
Since moving into his new residence, Bob says he feels “like a human again”. Deana, under the provisions of Bob’s current Home Care Package, is able to spend around 3.5 hours a week with him. She says he has “smashed” all his goals.
Along with an increase in independence and more pride in his appearance, Bob’s strength has improved so much that he no longer requires the use of his wheelie walker. Now able to communicate more effectively, he has also shown an improvement in his speech – a goal he says would not have been possible without Just Better Care’s assistance.
“Deana, from Just Better Care, she is special. She helps me a lot.”