At over 70 years of age, Elsie has several health conditions, but she wanted very much to continue living in her home. Her Home Care Package enabled her to work with 365 Care to receive domestic assistance and meals at home. This was very helpful, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Understandably, she began feeling very isolated. As we wrote a few months ago, people, especially older adults and those with health challenges, needed extra support during the crisis.

As with a number of other ageing people, one of her primary worries was slipping and falling and being unable to call for help. 365 Care staff began to think that she might benefit from an Apple watch to help detect falls. Staff delivered the watch to her home and got her started using it. Not long after, her health conditions led to her being sent to hospital.

While in hospital, the Apple watch came into play a different way. Instead of detecting a fall, it detected a heart rate abnormality. When she showed her heart rate to her doctor, they were amazed. It turned out that the watch’s ability to track her heart rate enabled a diagnosis of a previously undiscovered heart condition. Now able to receive treatment, Elsie is home again and on the mend. The simple device and John’s visit literally saved her life.

The lesson from this story is that home care services can literally be life savers. On her own, it’s unlikely that she would have purchased and used an Apple watch. Getting to know the people that rely on 365 Care’s aged care services for Western Sydney helps us to provide individualised in-home care.

365 Care believes in responding to the whole person and all of their needs. Although the Apple watch was originally meant to help in case of falls, it ended up meeting an entirely different purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic has been quite a challenge for all of us, but this story shows that even in isolated circumstances, older Australians can still remain connected and live safely at home through technology and the all-important human element of homecare services.