With a passion for providing thoughtful, targeted in-home support to older people, Phavanni Kavaliku is launching OFA Homecare Services. This is a sponsored post.
WITH a passion for providing thoughtful, targeted in-home support to older people, Phavanni Kavaliku is launching OFA Homecare Services to provide the kind of care older people receive from family in Tonga, where she was born and raised.
OFA is a Tongan word meaning love, kindness, concern, hope, care and help, she says.
“There are no nursing home services in Tonga. Instead, it’s with ‘OFA’ that the young generation looks after their older family members,” Phavanni says.
“My desire to start this business derives from the joy I got from looking after my older family members when growing up.
“We had my father’s aunty, his adoptive mother, my mother’s mother and my mother’s uncle all living at home, and being there for them was just something we naturally did, and enjoyed doing.
“There’s always someone with the older person and it’s rewarding seeing them so happy, enjoying relationships and being well looked after.”
OFA Homecare Services will provide aged care in the home, offering services such as refreshing the home, socialisation, help with appointments, companionship, help with paying bills, organising a gardener or making light gourmet meals such as Welsh rarebit, pancakes with berries, fish cakes with salad, buttered egg with Dijon mustard on toasted fingers, or old-fashioned Victorian beef tea – all beautifully presented, Phavanni says.
OFA can provide a registered nurse if needed, and will also support people with special needs or a disability.
After-hospital care is available, too, for people who may not have anyone to come home to after a hospital admission – providing convalescent meals, restocking the fridge, medication, refreshing the home, changing the sheets, popping on a load of washing, light dusting, cleaning the kitchen, wiping down all equipment (wheelchair, shower chair, walking stick), cutting flowers from the garden and putting them in a vase, plus day-to-day care.
Mum-of-three Phavanni says this kind of support means older people can stay in their own homes for longer, where they feel safe, comfortable and familiar.
The companionship also helps to combat loneliness, she says.
Phavanni will carefully match the support worker to the client, considering a level of detail that encourages connection and trust.
“Our point of difference is that it’s not just a job, it’s ‘we’ll be your extended family’ and provide continuity of care. It’s crucial to build a relationship,” she says.
“For example, if the client would like an Italian speaker, we’ll do our best to support that. If they want to play chess or bridge, we’ll match them up with a support worker that has similar interests.
“One of our clients, an Irish lady in her 70s who’s going blind with macular degeneration, specifically wanted an Irish lady to read Irish literature from her childhood to her.
“Another client requested a support worker who was a ‘spiritual Libra’.
“It’s about the details. I want to make people happy and to feel very compatible with who’s sent.”
Phavanni moved from Tonga to New Zealand to finish high school there, staying with her elderly grand-aunt and uncle until she moved to Australia.
“It was very natural to me to live with older people, but I saw that the elderly weren’t as fortunate as those in Tonga because of different family structures. That drew me to create OFA Homecare Services,” she says.
Phavanni says she’s looking to take on support workers and nurses with a passion for looking after older people. Training is free, covering cultural diversity, hygiene, infection control, manual handling and arthritis support, she says.
“Our specially trained and selected staff will bring that family love and assistance to clients, making sure people are cared for in a way that comes from the heart,” she says.
OFA Homecare Services, contact Phavanni on 6198 3267, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ofahomecareservices.com.au