Transition to Retirement Case Management (TTRCM) - success stories

The success stories below demonstrate how successful the TTRCM program delivered by CRS Australia has been and the difference it has made to the lives of many supported employees as they transitioned to retirement. In most cases, these employees have had a successful transition to retirement or a reduction in working hours by becoming involved in other social activities which assisted them to stay connected and engaged with their local community.

* All names in the success stories have been changed.

Abigail

Abigail commenced onto the TTRCM Program in October 2013. Abigail worked two days per week and was looking to retire. She was not undertaking any activities in the community independently at the commencement of her program. Abigail was supported to trial a range of groups in her local community before settling on activities including Ladies Leisure Group, Computer groups, Craft groups and Beginners Line Dancing.

Abigail was supported through the TTRCM program to attend sessions of all groups, and coached in public transport routes to each venue to support independent attendance. Abigail is further supported by Support Workers in two of her activities, and this support will be ongoing.

Close liaison with her community support agency was instrumental in achieving Abigail's goal of retirement.

Ben

Ben was working three days per week at the commencement of his TTRCM Program. Ben had a goal to cease work and retire. Ben lives in supported accommodation. Ben had identified that he would like to try different activities in the local community, however there was concern that he may not be able to afford to retire.

Liaison with the hostel manager where Ben lived and support staff at work was undertaken to ensure that a new budget could be created for Ben to allow him to cease work, and participate in new activities in the community.

Ben requires support to participate in activities, but has joined the local Men's Shed, plays netball weekly, attends a men's group and goes on social outings. He is happy with his new lifestyle and the new opportunities afforded to him after participation in the TTRCM program.

Christina

Christina was working fulltime at the commencement of her TTRCM program. As English is Christina's second language, her sister acted as her advocate.

Christina identified a number of interests external to work that she would like to pursue as part of her retirement plan. These included lawn bowls, painting and gardening.

Christina's sister was reluctant for her to pursue these activities, and indicated to the consultant that she felt it was more important for Christina to learn independent living skills such as cooking. The consultant was able to liaise with both Christina and her sister to come to an agreement to trial a number of community activities. Christina elected to participate in indoor bowls several times per week, as well as attend a number of social outings with her partner. Christina's sister is now also teaching her how to cook.

Daryl

Daryl attended his initial interview with his consultant and indicated he wished to look at retirement. Daryl's case manager assisted him to identify his interests and then found programs in his local area that were compatible with his interests. Daryl reduced his hours at work over a six month period whilst he trialled activities and settled into his new routine.

Daryl is now retired and participates in weekly activities like Woodworking, 'Just for Me!' (social group for people with disability) and movie club. Daryl also attends a fitness program on a weekly basis under the guidance of a personal trainer to keep active.

Daryl's transition to retirement was such a success that a news article was written for the local newsletter!

Edna

Edna attended one of the very first information sessions for TTRCM nationally. Edna was sure that she wished to retire and in fact elected to retire shortly thereafter. She used her first few weeks of retirement to sample different retirement activities and embraced retirement with gusto.

Edna loves craft activities and now participates in a number of craft groups in the community every week, including beading, knitting and general craft. Edna also visits the local Senior Citizen's club several times per week for morning tea and other social activities.

Although Edna is non-verbal, she enjoys the camaraderie at the social club and craft groups. She has required a collaborative approach to her program with disability services and funding to assist her to remain engaged in her community based activities. This was undertaken as part of the program, to ensure a sustainable outcome in retirement.

Edna's consultant was instrumental in ensuring that she was able to actively participate in suitable groups in the community. A collaborative approach with community groups, carers and disability services has ensured that Edna will be able to continue contributing to these groups in her retirement.

Faye

It was Faye's second appointment with her consultant when she signed the TTR plan. She was interested in social groups, arts and craft and cooking groups. Her consultant did some investigating into suitable groups where Faye could independently catch public transport to the groups.

The CRS Australia consultant initially attended groups with Faye at a local Women's Resource Centre. Faye chose classes on Arts, and Creativity and Conversation. Faye reported she enjoyed the art class but found the creativity and conversation class overwhelming. 

During the groups, Faye's consultant helped her to meet other students who were very supportive. The teacher was also very supportive and helpful. Faye was shown, by her consultant, where the bus would drop her off to ensure that she could travel independently to the group. Faye enjoyed the art class and took her art into work the following day to show the staff. She attended the group independently after the initial class and support from her consultant. The consultant spoke with the local Women's Resource Centre who advised that Faye did well at the group and they are happy to have her there. Faye is being provided with appropriate art supplies through participation funding to ensure she can continue to participate in the art group.

Faye requested that she wanted to be involved in Young Adult Disabled Association (YADA) activities and this has been organised by her consultant. 

As a result, Faye's employment contract has changed from four days per week to two days per week.

Garry

Garry was working full time at a workplace that was over two hours travel from his home. As part of his transition to retirement program, Garry's consultant assisted him and his family to make decisions about relocating to a different worksite that would be more accessible for him.

Garry has reduced his work hours and having a later start has helped his family considerably with no more 3.00 am starts. Garry's new location has also given him the opportunity to link in with his nephew who lives nearby and takes him to the football and fishing every week.

Garry is now considering a further reduction in work hours next year so that he can spend more time undertaking activities in the community with his family.

Hannah

Hannah attended a group information session at her ADE and decided, with the support of her carers, to trial retirement activities with a view to potential retirement. Hannah identified a strong interest in art activities as her sister and father were both painters and this was investigated by the consultant. Hannah had the support of her consultant, as well as her support worker, and the ADE to look at reducing her days at work to participate in activities.

Hannah was supported by her consultant to attend art classes for several weeks, before making the decision to attend independently. Her consultant liaised with the art teacher to ensure that Hannah would be accepted into the group and that all activities would be appropriate for her. Art supplies were purchased for Hannah through the participation fund so that she had the required equipment to fully participate in activities.

Hannah thoroughly enjoyed attending the art classes and found the support from her teacher helpful. As a result of Hannah's Indigenous heritage, she has been asked to teach dot painting to others in the class. Hannah is very engaged in her activities outside of work and elected to retire before Christmas 2013.

Hannah has now retired from work and participates in a range of art related community activities every day of the week. These include lifestyle groups, her art classes and also an Indigenous Cultural Group.

At the time of writing, Hannah's consultant continued to support her with regular catch ups to ensure a successful and sustainable retirement from work.

Ingrid

Ingrid was working two days per week at the commencement of her TTRCM program. Ingrid felt that she was getting tired at work and wished to look at a range of options for retirement.

Ingrid initially reduced her days to one day per week to participate in a scrapbooking class. Through the use of the participation fund, her consultant assisted Ingrid to trial the course for 10 weeks, and also assisted with the purchase of supplies so that Ingrid could continue to work on her activities at home.

Ingrid has elected to retire from work and currently her consultant is working with her to ensure that she is participating in other activities on the day she would otherwise be working. Ingrid is currently visiting the senior citizens centre once a week.

Ingrid's consultant has also assisted her to have a 'visual diary' with pictures of her activities throughout the week so that she has a prompt of where she is meant to be during the week.

Ingrid remained active in her TTRCM program to ensure that her participation in all activities was sustainable. Her program was closed after Ingrid received six months of case management and she was sustainably participating in her community activities.

James

James had worked at his employer since they had opened 43 years ago. James carried out a range of tasks, such as recycling cardboard, culling oysters and making aluminium anode collars three days per week.

James attended an information session on the TTRCM program and decided to participate so he could explore retirement activities. James decided early on that he was happy to trial a number of community activities with a view to retirement. He elected to participate in some exercise activities which were arranged by his consultant in the community as well as attending the Men's Shed, where he could enjoy working with his hands on a range of projects.

James was honoured at his farewell with a cake and the local newspaper also completed an article on his achievements at work.

Kellie

Kellie was working two days per week at the commencement of her TTRCM program. Kellie lived at home with her 90 year old mother, who was her sole social contact outside of work. She had no further support networks or activities outside of one group she attended with her mother.

As a result of the TTRCM program, Kellie is now attending a friendship club weekly, a community centre weekly (who picks Kellie up from her home, and drops her back) and is undertaking a range of activities independent of her mother.

Kellie has had significant positive benefits from her participation in the program, with greater community participation, independence from her mother and a new social network.

Lawrence

Lawrence was working two days per week at the commencement of his program. Lawrence had the full support of his workplace and support workers to participate in the TTRCM program, and decided to come onto program after a one-on-one combined information session/initial assessment.

Lawrence worked intensively with his consultant to identify activities that interested him. Lawrence's consultant worked with local community groups to organise the activities for him to trial, and as a result of the program is now participating in a range of activities. Lawrence undertakes work in a local community garden; attends the Men's shed weekly, and also goes fishing every week.

Due to the strong support from his group home, Lawrence is able to access transport to get to these activities and has now decided to cease work entirely.

Lawrence TTRCM program closed at the point his participation in all activities was sustainable.

Martin

Despite continued health issues Martin was working one day per week whilst participating in community activities through the local senior citizen's club. After meetings with Martin, the Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) and those associated with his current community activities, the consultant assisted Martin to make decisions about his community activities and to review his capacity to continue to undertake work.

As a result of his participation in the TTRCM program and after consultation with all associated parties Martin has ceased employment to have a 'rest day' at home one day per week. This has ensured his ongoing capacity to undertake activities such as carpet bowls, mini golf, outings, exercise classes and participate in morning teas four days per week in the community.

Nellie

Nellie is 67 years of age and had worked with her last employer for 15 years. She lives independently and was participating in community activities whilst still working.

Nellie referred herself to the Program because she was finding work tiring and wished to look at options for retirement that would allow her to pursue her interests.

Nellie sat down with her consultant, her carers and an advocate to discuss what she wanted to achieve by retiring.

Nellie already had a clear idea of her interests, and with her consultant working together with her and engaging her natural supports such as friends and neighbours, they were able to formalise a plan where she could participate in local community activities every day and be supported in terms of care and transport.

Nellie ceased work in July 2013 with a lunch with all her workmates. She is now happily engaged in a number of activities including a drama/music group, choir practice, country and western music appreciation group, bible studies and social activities.

Olive

Olive was working five days per week at the commencement of her program. Olive participated in a group presentation at her ADE and decided to refer and take part in an initial assessment.

Olive identified a range of activities that she would like to try in retirement and initially reduced her days at work to trial those activities. Olive's consultant assisted her to purchase shoes through the use of the participation fund with a non-slip tread so that she was able to undertake activities in the kitchen and garden safely.

Olive decided that she wished to retire fully and her consultant then worked intensively with her to ensure that she had a plan in place with activities throughout the week. Olive now participates in a range of activities through the week including scrapbooking, choir, food preparation and cooking classes, gardening, bowls and a fitness group. She also spends some time at home each week to allow for 'down time' and time to attend medical appointments as required.

Olive remained active in her TTRCM program despite her retirement, to ensure that her participation in all activities was sustainable. Her program was closed when her six months of case management was completed.

Peter

Peter was working minimal hours per week at work and was engaged in some community activities sporadically when he referred to the program. Peter had a range of barriers including mobility and communication issues, and limited support from his sister, who lived a significant distance away.

A range of community based activities were considered by the consultant to encourage engagement in suitable and accessible activities. The need and availability for support workers to attend with Peter was also considered when looking at suitable options. After investigating and discussing various options with Peter, he identified a number of activities that he now undertakes on a weekly and fortnightly basis with support workers.

These include ten pin bowling, Riding for the Disabled and Blue Care respite services including allied health services and a gym program. Blue Care Sailability assisted sailing was also arranged to commence once sailing facilities were repaired following the Gympie floods.

As a result, Peter is now regularly participating in a range of activities in his local community and has ceased employment to focus on his participation in these activities.

Ronald

Ronald is a vision impaired client who had been working full time. He had existing interests in short wave radio and reading; however these interests had fallen by the wayside over the years as he had focussed on full time employment.

Ronald met with his consultant and advised that he wished to retire and pursue his long held interests. Ronald's consultant was able to utilise participation funds to assist him to learn to use his braille embosser to allow Ronald to access written material such as books, and manuals for his short wave radio.

Ronald nominated a retirement date, and worked with his consultant over the course of his program to ensure that he was able to use his new equipment when he retired. Ronald also elected to participate in other community activities such as yoga and soap making as part of his retirement plan.

Stephen

Stephen had worked for the same organisation for 37 years when the opportunity to participate in the TTRCM program arose. Stephen was working four days per week at the commencement of his program. Stephen was living in supported accommodation and his consultant was able to arrange support that allowed him to access transport to a number of community activities from his supported accommodation.

As a result of the TTRCM program, Stephen is now participating in arts and crafts, a support group and cooking classes. He has fully retired from work and reports he is enjoying his new activities.

Terry

Terry commenced his program in June 2013, with a view to retiring towards the end of the year. At the commencement of his program, Terry was working two days per week. Terry had some health issues that were impacting on his ability to attend work regularly. 

With the support of his consultant, Terry was able to initially utilise his existing days off to trial several activities in the community. As part of his program, a review of his health conditions was undertaken by his consultant and treating health practitioner. It was identified that Terry would benefit from participation in some exercise based activities to assist with managing his health, as part of his retirement plan. Hydrotherapy and a supervised gym program were initially funded through the participation fund.

Terry has now retired and is participating in Hydrotherapy, supervised gym program and Active Ageing course. Terry is also undertaking a computer course to improve his skills to assist him communicate with friends and family via email and also attends the Men’s Shed weekly.

Since retiring from work, Terry has advised that his health has improved significantly.[

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