Who’s making Christmas pudding?

Nola's artwork. (Pictures: Supplied)

Nola took up watercolour painting at the age of 79 and hasn’t looked back since. Now, aged 96, she lives at home and spends her days painting beautiful landscapes, portraits and everything else in between.

The Melbourne great-great grandmother has even had her works exhibited at her local neighbourhood centre, where she enrolled for watercolour classes nearly 20 years ago.

And Nola, who has arthritis, is delighted to be living her best life at home thanks to a home care package through Uniting AgeWell, which provides her with domestic assistance.

Nola keeps cuttings of photographs from newspapers for inspiration to paint, using watercolour, gouache, coloured Indian ink, pastel or charcoal.

“Mixed media is a favourite,” Nola says. “I enjoy painting and it’s certainly helped me fill in time during isolation.”

Now that restrictions have lifted, she’s looking forward to being able to once again share her other passion – cooking – with the rest of her very large family.

She loves whipping up a storm in the kitchen, anything from lemon butter to pies and Christmas pudding.

So, guess who’ll be making this year’s Christmas pudding!

Nola is one of the thousands of clients receiving home care services through not-for-profit aged care provider Uniting AgeWell, across Victoria and Tasmania – with many in Melbourne’s north and west.

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, mobility scooters and install ramps in their homes to enable them to live more independently during isolation. So now that things are getting back to normal, they’ll be able to continue living their 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. All Uniting AgeWell residential communities, including Preston, are offering respite stays, with a special package offering a 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.

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