For the past decade, Katherine has used Holdsworth’s transport services due to her limited mobility, but when she was encouraged to join Wellness Hub, she had reservations. Thankfully, she decided to try, and she’s found the sensitive care and professionalism has helped her maintain her health and independence, plus she enjoyed it much more than she’d expected! The Katherine before Wellness Hub, and the Katherine now: “They’re chalk and cheese,” she says.

Katherine is the type of person who fills lives with music. From audiences during her career as a professional classical pianist, to students at Scots College where she taught piano for 30 years. Music still plays an important role in Katherine’s life, as she enjoys playing in her own home and giving occasional lessons to dedicated students. 

Another constant in her life over the past ten years has been Holdsworth Community Transport, helping Katherine get to medical appointments. Fiercely independent and happy to live alone, Holdsworth Transport has been vital to the ongoing melody of Katherine’s daily life, given her scoliosis. The music was turned down, though, in Easter 2020 when Katherine had a fall that cracked her pelvis in two places. Six weeks later, just as she was beginning to physically recover, lockdown hit. 

When the Holdsworth crew suggested she access services through Wellness Hub, Katherine responded with a flat no. She wasn’t interested; it wasn’t her sort of thing. But after hearing more about it as the months went on, and after a decade of trusting the transport team at Holdsworth, Katherine eventually decided to give it a go. This decision ended up changing her life.  

Wellness Hub is a free service offered by Holdsworth and proudly supported by Woollahra Council offering services and advice to people over 65, living in Woollahra LGA, while they wait for more formal support through My Aged Care. The program provides holistic clinical and allied health services, exercise programs, lunch and transport to and from home. 

Katherine attended her first Wellness Hub with trepidation. While Katherine had gone to medical appointments, and her young neighbour and music student Sam checked in on her regularly through lockdown (he’s now volunteering with Holdsworth and planning to study aged care), the Wellness Hub was her first outing to a new environment since her accident.   

“The biggest impact of Wellness Hub was definitely psychological. I was feeling unsteady and insecure, and starting to worry about living independently,” she says. “That single morning had a huge effect on my mental health.” 

At Wellness Hub, Katherine met with a nurse then a physio, who walked her through what she wanted to get out of it. She went away with exercises, and when the team assured her she was doing well (in fact, the physio insisted she was right on track, saying, “go away and continue you what you’re doing”), Katherine thought; “now maybe I’ll start sitting up and living again.” Wellness Hub also set her up with some free frozen meals, which Katherine – rather a good cook herself – initially resisted. These have been so great on busy or tiring days, however, that she’s chosen to continue with meal services.  

“Living alone as one gets older has many challenges and I would strongly recommend this program as a means of developing practical social support structures to help with daily living,” Katherine says. “It’s been all systems go again. I’ll be eternally grateful to Holdsworth for Wellness Hub.” 

Katherine and Sam now catch up weekly through Holdsworth Connect Program. They regularly go for a walk around the block, chat, have coffee and Katherine teaches Sam piano.

Are you looking for free support and advice to keep you living independently at home?
If you’re living in the Woollahra area, Wellness Hub is a good place to start, and you might enjoy it more than you expect - just like Katherine!

Get in touch with our Community Care Team to find out more about our Wellness Hub