News & Events

Peter given a lifeline by OCAV care

December 9, 2016

Vale Peter Stock
Peter died on 13 Feb 2017

A few months ago Peter Stock, 73, woke up in Melbourne’s Austin Hospital filled with dread and fear. “I couldn’t really believe that at my age I was without a home, I had nothing and no where to go. I thought about a motel or something, but I had a terrible sense of fear about my future. It really knocked me,” he said.

Peter’s fear had substance. He had been on home dialysis at OCAV’s Leith Park village for three years as part of a pilot program involving the Royal District Nursing Service who came two or three times a day to facilitate the nightly dialysis.

But a rapid deterioration in his condition a few months ago meant he had to be admitted to the Austin Hospital. His worsened condition also meant that he could no longer live in an independent unit and needed Residential care. There was no bed at Liscombe House, Leith Park’s aged care facility, and none of the other six Residential cares he tried would accept a resident on dialysis.

“That’s when I really felt desperate about what would happen next,” he said.

Within days, a bed did become available at Leith Park’s Liscombe House and the team, from the CEO down, had to ask the question – could they take on a dialysis patient, something they had never done before.

 

Residents’ Coordinator Karen Ernest said the decision to accept Peter was not made lightly, as caring for a person on dialysis requires a lot of staff training.

 

“Peter was one of our own. He had lived at Leith Park for 10 years and he needed to have a home to come to after hospital. We looked at the possibility from every angle and decided yes, we could do it. So everyone got involved in the planning, including Peter’s two daughters,” Karen said.

 

“I had the best job of all and that was ringing Peter’s family and telling them that yes we would take him and that we were willing to train the staff to care for him.”

 

OCAV’s CEO Phillip Wohlers said there are only three dialysis patients living in aged care facilities in Victoria.  But he said OCAV was committed to continuum of care for residents.

 

“We strive to continue to care for our own residents and to allow them to remain within their community of friends.  This is core to the work we do,” Phillip said.

 

Peter, who has chronic kidney disease stage 4 requires peritoneal dialysis every night while he sleeps. OCAV staff worked collaboratively with the team at the Austin Hospital whose specialists provided the training.  They remain very involved, offering regular hospital in the home care at Liscombe House and regular training to staff.

 

Staff help connect Peter to his dialysis every night and ‘unhook’ him in the morning and examine the machine’s data to ensure all the information is consistent with the directives provided by the Austin’s renal unit. If there are problems through the night, that the staff cannot manage, then the Austin staff are close by to ‘troubleshoot’.

 

Peter has been on dialysis in Liscombe House now for two months and is still in awe of the commitment and compassion shown by the organization and in particular, the staff that care for him around the clock. As well as chronic kidney disease, Peter has several other health issues including diabetes, but he is slowly getting into the swing of life at Liscombe House.

 

“Peter has even started talking about bringing some of his model cars into show the residents, which he did last year when he was in the independent units. He is passionate about the cars and the residents love seeing them,” Karen said.

 

While OCAV responded to Peter’s urgent need and embarked on something for the first time, it is inevitable that more high care demands will be made on aged cared facilities in the future.

 

“There is no doubt that as the population ages, coupled with the push to deliver aged care services into the home, aged care facilities will become quasi-hospitals with residents requiring more acute care.  This will necessitate a re-think of the current care and funding models,” Phillip said.

 

Note: The Aged Care Quality Agency conducted a support visit to Liscombe House in early December.  The agency complimented the OCAV team on the achievement of caring for a dialysis patient within an aged care facility, something they had not seen before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"There is nothing I would change that would make my life any better. I have two loving sons and family and I thank God every day that OCAV took me in when I had nothing," said Jill Dale, Braeside Park resident.

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