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Pieta moved to Melbourne three years ago and her mum Carol moved to Spencer about 18 months ago.
At the time, Carol was in good health, but over the last few months, she has been needing a little more support.
Being so far from her, it was hard for Pieta to check in with Carol regularly and know she’s doing well and safe.
Pieta says, “I think sometimes as your parents get older, you are really worried. I’m not around the corner. She doesn’t have any family here. And so, you might think about finding residential aged care or some sort of retirement option that’s going to provide more support.”
But Pieta knew those options would affect her mother’s mental and physical health. She also knew that for Carol, having independence and privacy is what would keep her going as she got older. “And I have to respect and honour that,” says Pieta.
Joining Mable made all the difference. Pieta, who started using Mable to get disability support for her daughter Caitlin, decided to use the platform to find support for Carol as well.
Now, Carol self-manages her home care package through Homemade.
In her support team, Fresa provides social and domestic support. Lynne drives Carol to appointments and helps with some shopping as well. Carol has also brought in a local gardener as well as a tech support person, all of whom are funded through the home care package.
Pieta feels much more confident knowing Carol has a support team that has a real connection with her, people who understand her life and take the time to work out how to help her in the best way.
She adds, “As her needs have changed and increased this means we also have a positive solution on hand for her that she can manage instead of me having to ‘enforce’ things.
“For example, instead of me telling her she can’t drive to the shopping centre an hour away, we discussed how this really tires her out and she is not enjoying it as much. Then, we talked about how it would be much better to get Lynne to drive her and make a day of it, have a coffee, and then help her unpack everything at home.”
Pieta says, “In this way, Mum doesn’t feel like she has lost something, or worse, that I have taken something away. She has actually added something good to her week by having one of her amazing Mable team members share the day with her.”
This is why, Pieta adds, her support team is crucial. “There is no way that I could feel as secure as I do about her living out here unless I knew she had a great team around her.”
The Mable app, Pieta says, was helpful in looking at profiles, how far support workers were, what their availability was, and what kind of personality they had. She also finds the feature to add support notes incredibly useful.
“For Mum, particularly, being able to read about them, their interests, seeing their photo was helpful in getting a sense of who they were.”
Although Carol was “nervous and resistant to start off with someone she didn’t know”, once she met Fresa, things fell quickly into place.
“One of the most important things about building this team was getting mum involved and making sure she felt like she was in control,” says Pieta.
“For me, connecting with someone who you feel has a genuine connection with your parents and isn’t just there for that time to do a job, is great.”
“It’s been such a godsend. It means I’m a lot more confident about Mum being able to achieve that goal of living in her own home for as long as she can. It’s really important for me to honour it as her daughter.”
Peace of mind
“As Mum has become more comfortable in using support through Mable there has definitely been a positive change in our relationship,” says Pieta.
“Mum is now more honest with me about how she is doing because she knows we can work together with her team to put the best support in place.
“Most importantly, when we talk and when I visit her, I can focus on being with her as her daughter and she can just be my mum because we know we have the rest covered with Lynne and Freesa.”
“I feel like my family is well supported. It makes my job a lot easier as a daughter and a mother.”