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When Gavin’s Home Care Package was approved, the funds administrator suggested he find support workers on Mable.
Robyn, Gavin’s daughter who manages his Mable account for him, says they considered a few different organisations but found others were “super expensive” and didn’t offer the flexibility they needed.
“We wanted someone to come in for a 1-1.5 hour shift in the morning and again in the evening,” Robyn explains. “Other providers insisted on shifts of a minimum of 3 hours and that just wasn’t going to work for us.”
Finding support workers on Mable
Robyn says, “What we love about Mable is that you get to choose who you want working for you. Mable’s rates are much better than the alternatives we tried, and we appreciate being able to be in control at all times.”
The family searched the profiles on the Mable website for support workers available in their area.
They also posted a job ad and received a great response. They booked two support workers to assist Gavin on a daily basis.
“Dad needed help from first thing in the morning, to get out of bed, shower, shave and be ready to face the day,” Robyn says.
“Then at night, he would get support to change into his pyjamas and get ready for bed. His personal care included catheter care,” she adds.
“It was important for Dad and the family that this very personal need was taken care of by someone outside the family.”
Finding independence with Mable
Robyn says her father’s quality of life improved noticeably once the support workers started coming. “Dad never wants to ask too much, even though his wife and I never felt that way.
“He wanted to retain his independence, brush his own teeth, feed himself, and keep up his mobility. Having the support workers help him did wonders for the mental side of things. Dad would feel much better and ready to face the day.”
The qualities of a good support worker
According to Robyn, a good support worker must genuinely care about the person they’re supporting and want them to be comfortable and happy.
She says the family were impressed that they “got on with the job and didn’t hang around waiting to find out what to do next”.
She also says that Gavin’s support workers came to know exactly what he wanted, without him having to say it. “They would always ask if there was anything else Dad needed before they finished their shift, but usually, they’d already know his needs anyway.”
It was also critical that the support workers were cautious around Gavin’s catheter needs. “They had to be super careful,” Robyn says. “It had to be double-checked, and they did that.”
Gavin’s wife experiences her own medical issues and is not allowed to lift heavy items or strain herself. And for Robyn, being able to outsource strenuous and very personal tasks was a relief too.
Home Care Package self-management
Gavin’s family explored self-management when they found that they were not receiving value for money.
“We didn’t manage Mum’s package and we realised we were putting so much money in and she wasn’t getting much in return,” Robyn recalls.
“So with Dad, we put a bit of time into it at the start, finding the support workers, and it’s really paid off. This way, we also got the continuity of knowing who would be turning up for each shift. We would highly recommend self-management. It’s really not hard.”
Benefits of building a support team
“Dad might have been in a nursing home two years early if not for his support workers from Mable. He wanted to stay home for as long as he could and that’s what we all wanted too.”
Gavin has only ever had the two support workers and although the family tried to engage a third, it turned out that the original two complemented each other well.
“They were so flexible,” Robyn explains. “If one couldn’t do a shift, the other would do it for him.”
Robyn says she did a lot of research in the beginning to find the right provider and the right way of managing Gavin’s Home Care Package and support. “Mable was honestly the stand-out,” she says. “In the end, it was the only one we could – or would – have chosen. It’s easy to navigate and you get freedom of choice. For Dad and for us, that has been such a valuable thing.”