Nada and Ian’s home in Northern Tasmania is a constant buzz of activity. Together they manage a bus and vehicle business, run cattle on the farm and support their son Aran’s blossoming swimming career.
(Aran recently won nine gold medals at the Down Syndrome International Championships in Italy!)
Passionate about "his toys" as Nada calls them, Ian owns tractors and a much loved 4x4 Mule utility.
For over ten years, they have also lived with cancer and recently introduced Hospice at Home services so Ian could stay "where he prefers."
Community nurses visit their home and Home Care Experts assist with showers and sleepovers. "We asked for Ian’s bed to be stationed in the lounge room," explains Nada. "It works better because he is part of the family hub and not away in the bedroom."
With overnight support, Nada can have an uninterrupted sleep, take Aran to his early morning swimming training and reduce the demands on her daughter, who has been "a big support" but is also parenting her own young children.
The flexibility of Hospice at Home means that the family can adapt and respond to Ian’s needs using a combination of in-home and hospital based support. Both Ian and Nada are full of praise for the Melwood unit at Calvary St Luke’s Hospital and agree that hospital is the best place for monitoring and medication management.
At other times, the opportunity to be home together is welcomed. "It’s different having support workers in your house," admits Nada, "but you adapt, it’s good and the girls are lovely."