The NSW Seniors Festival (March 11-24) celebrates the role and contributions of older adults to our local communities, people just like Monica who are embodying this year's theme to 'Reach Beyond'.

Monica (85) is an Aged Care client at The Benevolent Society and has faced many challenges throughout her life. Although she has had setbacks including being diagnosed with Addison’s disease and dementia, it hasn’t stopped Monica to live her life to the fullest thanks to the art of music.

Every Monday, Monica is accompanied by support worker Penny to her local Dee Why RSL Club where she participates in a dance and movement activity. It was after her first time at the activity that something magical happened.

“The first week we came, Monica immediately started dancing with the singers and performers – it’s like the music transforms her and her face lights up”. Penny said.


Image: Monica dancing

Monica’s newfound love of music and dancing has surprised her family members including her son Jason who admits his mother has never been a dancer or had a previous interest in music.

“I just couldn’t believe it the first time that I saw her on the dance floor. It was unbelievable.” Jason said.

Monica is supported by The Benevolent Society’s Home Support Package (HSP) enabling her to maintain her independence at home and participate in activities in the community. The Home Care Package provides personalised support for her and her husband Rod including domestic and shopping assistance. Support care worker Penny says the level of support and care depends on individual needs.

“I assist clients where they might need the extra help and it varies for everyone. We just come in and give a helping hand in any way that we can”. Penny says.

For Monica and Rod, the Home Care Package has provided minor home renovations to ensure the couple can still live comfortably and safely which has been a relief for their family.

“The Benevolent Society has organised handrails for the path up to the garage, handrails throughout the home and they have also arranged gardening and general maintenance support. It has lightened the load because my dad just can’t do it all anymore”. Jason said.


Image (left to right): Penny, Monica and her son Jason.

In addition to home support, Monica now has a more positive outlook on life as she navigates the challenges associated with her declining health and looks forward to dancing at the club each week. Her new hobby has also provided comfort to her family with her health being emotionally tough to navigate.

“Each week the pressure relief gets cracked when Penny turns up to take mum to the RSL club. For a couple of days after her visit there, her brain clicks back into gear for a couple of days. We are very lucky to have Penny – she’s one in a thousand”. Jason said.

The Home Care Package has allowed Monica and Rod to remain independent and have a quality of life they may not have had the chance to have. Support worker Penny believes it can really make a huge difference.

“If you’re thinking about getting extra support, I would say don’t hesitate, it can mean so much to your life just having that new face come into the home and lend a helping hand”. Penny says.

Hear more about Monica's story through Penny and Jason in the video below!


For more information, contact us on 1800 236 762 or submit an Aged Care Support referral form online here: