Weekly breaks are a lifeline for Sue and her Mum

Last year Sue was finding it increasingly difficult to provide all the assistance that her Mum, Betty, needed to stay living in the house she’s called home since 1961.

Betty is 88 and like many older people who have a desire to remain independent, she was determined to stay at home but needed more and more help with household chores and keeping her house and garden up to scratch.

Sue found her own health was suffering because she was the only one caring for her mother.

“Mum had also become extremely socially isolated due to poor mobility and pain issues,” explains Sue. “And many of her friends had either passed away or were similarly experiencing poor health.”

Betty had a face-to-face assessment of her needs after contacting My Aged Care. As a result, she qualified for the Commonwealth Home Support Program, which funds services to help people over 65 stay in their own home for longer.

This program supports seniors by giving practical help with day-to-day activities, such as basic cleaning, dishwashing and laundry, and by arranging for someone to look after them or take them for an outing while their regular carer takes a short break.

“We were very lucky that the assessor lived locally and had a wonderful knowledge of the supports in Mum’s local area,” says Sue. “She was the one who recommended Carer Support.”

Carer Support’s Seniors Support team now arranges regular flexible respite and other services for Betty so she can continue living at home and join in regular social activities, while Sue gets the ongoing break she needs to preserve her own health and help out with her grandchildren.

As part of Betty's flexible respite, Carer Support arranges a care worker who is not only a good match for her, but who also visits her regularly rather having a different care worker every time.

“This has worked extremely well,” says Sue. “Mum looks forward to her weekly outings with Jenni. It’s meant that Mum has had someone else to take her out and give her back a little independence to choose where she goes. Carer Support has been a lifeline for her.”

Betty also regularly attends On the Buses monthly outings and, more recently, she has received monthly gardening and assistance with gutter cleaning.

“The On the Buses trip to Port Elliot was a real highlight for Mum, and she uses taxi transport to and from the centres for every trip, which is a big help to me when I need to look after my grandchildren,” says Sue.

“I have also been able to volunteer at my granddaughter’s school knowing that Mum was also enjoying herself.”

“I would highly recommend that other carers get in touch with My Aged Care to arrange an assessment for support with their older parents. The extra help makes a huge difference.”

If you are over 65 (or over 50 if you have an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background), contact us and we’ll help you start the process with My Aged Care and advise you on the referral codes to ask for. Call 8206 0777.

Find out more about Seniors Support