From high and dry to safe and supported

Philip worked as an engineer and was a keen yachtsman in his younger days.

He sailed solo to Canada and to Tasmania many times. Now, anchored in Frankston South with his faithful dog, Bosun, Philip can still smell the ocean if the wind is blowing in the right direction. He remembers his Canadian trip, explaining clearly how to use Meridian Passage when navigating without GPS.

Above: Philip at home (Bosun, at his feet, not pictured).

Eight years ago, Philip’s life took a turn for the worse. He had a stroke, followed by two lots of surgery for a brain tumour. This has left him with problems with mobility, balance and memory. At the same time his health failed, he suffered a relationship breakdown and lost most of his life savings. He worked as an engineer and was financially well off, but the illness forced him into early retirement.

With just a few big changes to wellbeing and financial circumstances, it’s easy to see how anyone can find themselves in need of assistance. “I know about nuclear physics, but it doesn’t help me with the weekly
shopping,” Philip smiles. Because of his high care needs, his case manager, Rachel, helped him move from a Level 2 Home Care Package to a Level 4 one. This allows him to draw on more intensive support.

He now gets help with activities of daily living including cooking, gardening, shopping and cleaning, and he has access to physiotherapy, so he can work on improving his mobility. “Rachel is my heroine. She is a very capable person who doesn’t forget a thing,” says Philip.

Along the way, Philip also ended up in rental accommodation which he can’t afford, and a case manager has recently found him more affordable housing. Plus, our Your Energy Broker team have switched him to a cheaper energy deal.

When the Brotherhood called his energy company, we found that the money he had been paying back had not been subtracted from his debt, and we arranged to have this fixed.

“If I didn’t have the Brotherhood I would be living under a bridge. I couldn’t live without them,” says Phillip.

We are looking for volunteers to support older people across our Aged Care services.