News & Media

29 June 2016

New device brings independence

Mary* didn’t always have low vision. Over the years, a combination of illness and old age took a toll on her eyesight, and now Mary can only see shadows.

Mary* didn’t always have low vision. Over the years, a combination of illness and old age took a toll on her eyesight, and now Mary can only see shadows.

“Mary depended on her husband for a lot of things, like getting dressed for the day, or taking the right medication,” says Sandra Graham, Aged Care Services Case Manager at Latrobe Community Health Service.

“But everything changed for her recently – through her Home Care Package, in conjunction with Vision Australia, Mary was able to purchase a barcode reader.

“This device reads barcodes and ‘speaks’ what each item is. When Mary goes to the shops and picks up a can of baked beans, the scanner tells her what it is and how much it costs.”

Using the barcode reader, Mary can also customise barcodes and tag personal items like clothing. She can now identify currency and even access instructions, ingredients and warnings for various items.

“I’ve never seen Mary this happy before,” says Sandra. “She’s been scanning everything. So many aspects of her life have been improved.

“If it wasn’t for her Home Care Package, she wouldn’t have been able to afford the barcode reader.”

A Home Care Package is a bundle of services and funds from the government which will allow you to get services to help you stay at home for longer. These services may include help with keeping your home clean, garden maintenance, hearing and vision services and care coordination.

Home Care Packages are available to eligible people across Gippsland. Latrobe Community Health Service delivers these packages across the region.

For more information about Home Care Packages, phone My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au

*Note: Mary is not the client’s real name.