Celebrating 25 years of personalised healthcare in the home

07/Sep/2020     HealthMater at HomeMater Group

With humble beginnings in 1995, the team from Mater at Home are pioneers at providing care and community support to Brisbane and beyond.

Mater at Home was established by physiotherapist Margaret Tweeddale; she had recognised the need for extra care, rehabilitation, and community support within the Brisbane community.

Through her work at Mater, she was able to meet this need by designing a holistic allied health program in the home.

The service was originally founded under the name DAART: Domiciliary Allied Health Acute Care and Rehabilitation Team.

In 2009 when nursing and paediatric care was introduced to the service, it became DART: Domiciliary Acute Care and Rehabilitation Team.

Renamed again in 2012 to Mater at Home, the service today continues to deliver quality healthcare and encourage wellbeing.

Fiona Hinchliffe, Director of Mater at Home, said the evolution of the service has captured the attention of our community.

“We’ve gone from a small team of 10 to more than 80 Mater people delivering services across a wide range of allied health and nursing specialties,” Fiona said.

“Mater at Home has continued to evolve; but our core Mater Values and team spirit have remained steadfast since day one.

“We believe that delivering high quality care to people in meaningful and safe environments is key to effective recovery and better health—we are always grateful for the opportunity and the privilege to care for people in the sanctity of their own homes,” she said.

Physiotherapist Sue Summers has been a part of the Mater at Home team since its conception; she has watched the health service transform and continue supporting the local community.

“At the time, this was a new concept for continuing care outside of the hospital—South Australia was the only other region with an established service providing care at home in this way,” Sue said.

“Orthopaedics was an initial focus area, with patients’ receiving care after hip and knee replacements.

“These patients were medically stable but needed to focus on rehabilitation.”

Sue treated the first Mater at Home physiotherapy patient when the service launched—an elderly lady with rheumatoid arthritis who had fractured neck of femur (a break of the bone at the top of her thigh near her hip joint).

“Her orthopaedic surgeon repaired her fracture with a pin and plate, but her recovery was slower due to her arthritis,” Sue said.

Reflecting on the attitude of her patients at the start of Mater at Home’s journey, Sue said that people were generally looking forward to leaving hospital sooner, knowing they were still going to be receiving high quality and personalised care in their home.

They feel more in control of their recovery and rehabilitation being in their own home, where they have access to their support network around them—they feel healthier and often appear to heal faster too.

“I remember our very first patient feeling so much more confident in becoming independent and active on her own terms and in her own space,” Sue said.

Mater at Home delivers goal-orientated care, working with clients to determine and reach their personal health and wellbeing goals.

“The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into Queensland has extended the scope of work that we do,” Fiona said.

“We're interested in supporting and empowering clients of all ages who are living with disability in the community, to maintain and improve their independence and physical, mental and social wellbeing.

“There is such a large portion of our community who may be needing support—we can work with these people and their families to increase their independence through a range of therapies and to build their capacity to do the things in life that are most important to them,” she said.

Mater at Home is committed to holistic wellbeing; whether you’re recovering from being sick, have a chronic condition, or are looking for preventative measures to enhance your lifestyle in a healthy way—we’re here, supporting you and your family to maintain good health and live well.

Reflecting on the last 25 years, Sue said that seeing people reach their goals and realise they can do things that they initially thought they couldn’t do, is what gives her joy every single day.

“I enjoy coming to work and being with these fantastic people at Mater at Home—I’m very lucky to work with such a great team of people who are incredibly talented in their respective specialities and share the same passion for supporting a healthier community,” she said.

This year, the service celebrates its 25th anniversary as Brisbane’s leading home care provider. As Mater at Home’s service continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of our community, the future looks incredibly bright.

If you are interested in our services or are looking for therapies to suit your needs or those of a family member, please contact our team on 07 3163 1760 or email materathome@mater.org.au

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