Bev has been volunteering for the Sydney Swans for over 20 years, but in recent times, health challenges prevented her getting to a game. In fact, a fear of falling meant she hadn't stepped outside her home in 6 months. But all that changed when Bev got to see Adam Goodes' farewell at the SCG last weekend thanks to a bit of help from HammondAtHome
A club volunteer for more than 20 years, in the 80s and 90s when the Swans were at rock bottom, Bev volunteered to bake muffins and deliver them to the club, and regularly cooked dinner for the boys. Before games she’d even go letterbox-dropping. “I’d walk from Moore Park to Randwick leafleting the houses to get people to come to the games,” she remembers.
Being part of something bigger than herself is what’s always gotten Bev through tough times. “When my son had a stroke, and when my daughter ended up in full-time care, the Swannies were always there to cheer me up.”
So when Bev had a fall last year, fracturing her knee and soon after tearing her Achilles tendon, she was devastated at the thought she might never return to the SCG.
On top of her injuries, Bev had Parkinson’s Disease and the doctors in hospital said she might not be able to live at home any longer. Her spirit was crushed.
Living alone, and faced with a crisis, Bev struggled to come to terms with her future.
Determined above all to remain at home, Bev set about negotiating a return home on a high care package, wanting to avoid going into residential care. She succeeded, returning home with lots of assistance.
Carers from HammondAtHome began visiting her twice daily during the week, and once on weekends.
But due to health challenges, Bev wasn’t able to get around like she used to. It was taking her sometimes up to 20 minutes to get from her sitting room to the bathroom.
And worse still, she stopped going outside her front door for fear of falling.
“When I got home from hospital, I was afraid,” says Bev. “I couldn’t bring myself to go outside because I knew I’d have to take a step and I could fall.”
Being housebound, Bev desperately missed seeing the Swans play. As she shared her deep desire to go back to the SCG one day, her HammondCare carers decided they had to help her realise her dream.
At the suggestion of her Case Manager Sarah, Bev began to take part in a 12-week restorative care program called ‘Smooth Moves’, aimed at building up her strength and confidence so she could be more independent. She didn’t have to pay a cent towards the program, as it formed part of her home care package.
As part of the program, she met with an exercise physiologist to be assessed and set some goals, and then every week she was visited at her home to help her reach her goals.
“Matt the exercise physiologist got me doing leg strengthening exercises and it was through that, I got over my fear of going outside,” says Bev.
In dark times, Bev says she’s taken inspiration from an Adam Goodes’ guernsey that hangs on her wall, the words ‘Stay Strong’ scrawled in his handwriting on the front.
Bev’s known Adam a long time through her association with the club, so when she heard he was doing a final lap of honour at the SCG, she desperately wanted to go.
“I was determined to get to the footy. It was all I wanted to do, it was my dream,” she explains.
Around 10 weeks into the “Smooth Moves” program, it was decided Bev was ready, and she could go to the game.
When Saturday came around, Bev says it felt amazing to be out of the house, let alone at her beloved SCG.
“It was the first time I’ve been out in fresh air in over six months, except for Grand Final day when I went to a friend’s house. It was just so nice to be outside.”
Her day was made all the more special when Adam Goodes saw her in the crowd during his lap of honour and made a special effort to get her attention.
“The drinks person saw me up in the crowd and whispered into his ear, ‘Bev’s here!’ and
Adam looked up at me and blew me two kisses.
I was in tears, it was an emotional time."
Bev says she’s since the game, she’s no longer afraid of going outside. “All I want to do is get a chair and go outside and sit on my porch.”
She’s already thinking about what her next goal might be…onya Bev.
Find out more about HammondAtHome and whether you might be able to receive a Homecare Package.