Zipping into the future

Ian Trewin. (Supplied)

Ian Trewin has got the twinkle back in his eye and now that restrictions have lifted is looking forward to eating seafood in a restaurant with his wife Barbara and zipping around the shops.

And it’s thanks to the mobility scooter organised for Ian through his home care package with not-for-profit aged care provider Uniting AgeWell.

The Werribee South 84-year-old has had three five-hour kidney dialysis sessions a week for the past 10 years, and getting to and from hospital was proving increasingly difficult.

Over the years, his wife Barbara, 81, dropped him off and later fetched him – which entailed four trips a day – but things grew more difficult as his mobility decreased and her exhaustion increased.

The retired mechanic and bus driver tried ambulance transfers but this often entailed long waits.

“The whole thing got me down so much I was about to give dialysis away,” Ian says.

He used his home care package to buy the scooter, and hasn’t looked back. Now he orders a maxi taxi, roars into the back on his mobility scooter and heads off to the hospital, doing the same for his trip home.

Ian also used his home care package to buy an electric bed, has a leg massage once a week and knows he only has to pick up the phone to get extra help.

“It’s great,” Barbara says. “We love our home and we’re so glad we can carry on living here.”

Ian is one of thousands of clients across Victoria and Tasmania receiving home care services through Uniting AgeWell – many of whom are in Melbourne’s west and north.

Uniting AgeWell is now also delivering home care services to some 900 clients in the Brimbank council area, as well as those in Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong.

Rohan Bond, Uniting AgeWell program manager West Metro Home Care says with 80 per cent of clients living alone, extra welfare checks and one-on-one visits are being done to ensure they’re OK.

Rohan says an upside to the pandemic is that many people adjusted their home care packages to buy electric beds, computer tablets and install ramps in their homes to enable them to live more independently.

So now that things are getting back to normal, they’ll be able to continue living their easiest best lives possible.

Clients can also access Uniting AgeWell’s North West Metro Short-Term Restorative Care package – an early intervention program that aims to reverse and/or slow functional decline in older people and improve their wellbeing.

Rohan says the pandemic has taken its toll on family carers who reported being exhausted, with a growing need for respite.

Uniting AgeWell provides respite in the home as well as centre-based respite. All Uniting AgeWell residential communities including Manor Lakes, Kingsville, and Geelong, are offering a special three week stay for the price of two.

It’s also useful for those recovering from a hospital procedure who need extra care before returning home. The facilities all offer 24-hour clinical and dementia care.

The newly refreshed Manor Lakes facility also has an onsite café, landscaped gardens, lovely, light-filled rooms and a lifestyle program.

For inquiries about Uniting AgeWell home care packages, respite stays and residential facilities, phone 1300 783 435 or visit