As Beryl says goodbye to ECH Home Support Team Member Susan Miller, she stops to thank her and they share a joke with each other.
After losing most of her eyesight to macular degeneration and living with arthritis, ECH supports Beryl to keep living independently at home, and Susan has been part of her care team for more than a decade.
“Susan knows me so well,” Beryl explains. “I appreciate her help. I want to be at home, so the support I get from ECH that enables me to do that means an awful lot to me.”
Under Beryl’s Home Care Package she receives Home Services which provides assistance with a lot of tasks that she now finds more difficult, including shopping, travelling to medical appointments, laundry and changing bed sheets.
However, it is the little things that Susan does that really makes Beryl smile.
“She knows my shopping list off by heart,” Beryl tells us proudly. “She knows I hate capsicum. She is my eyes when I need to see something and she is so calm and wonderful, she never gets impatient with me. She easily could,” she chuckles. “I’m not always easy to be around.” For Susan, being able to make that difference to Beryl is why she loves her job.
“It means so much to people to be able to help them with things that they can’t do anymore,” says Susan. “For me it’s great to keep clients living independently for as long as possible, and I love chatting and listening to my client’s stories.”
Beryl has plenty of stories to share, explaining proudly she can make more than 100 things with her hands and has created many beautiful paintings and embroidery designs.
She was born in Sydney and started drawing and painting when she was four, a hobby that turned into the job she would do for the rest of her life. After moving from state to state with her husband, when he passed away at just 45, Beryl supported her two sons on her own by hand-colouring photographs and selling her arts and crafts.
Despite Beryl’s health conditions, she has a resilient spirit and a positive attitude with whatever comes her way. With support from ECH Beryl continues to live independently in her own home.