Carer for his Mum

I’m a part time online educational designer and I live on the Northern Beaches in Cairns. I was the only child of my mother, Dorothy, who sadly passed away over 12 months ago.

I lived some distance from Mum but cared for her, visiting her on my days off, taking her to medical appointments and arranging for the collection of her medication. Sometimes I’d do other things like taking her to the bank or picking up shopping from the grocery store. I phoned Mum in the evenings to check in with her and make sure everything was alright.

Mum lived independently in a retirement village and had regular Home Care services including nursing to dress a leg ulcer, personal care (showering), domestic assistance, unaccompanied shopping, meals and allied health services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Mum was quite isolated at home, she could only walk very short distances and relied on formal support services 5 days a week. She was fortunate to have friendly neighbours who would check in on her and help with things like checking the letter box or bringing in the newspaper.

Because I didn’t live close to Mum, having the care services and the help of the neighbours took the pressure off me. I felt comfortable knowing her activities of daily living were being taken care of. The care she received from service providers was above adequate.

The staff who came to visit mum would make sure they took the time to sit with her and ask questions They would have a look at the photos in the room and they’d ask Mum questions about her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sometimes they would comment on the poetry that Mum wrote too. It made her feel important and valued.

A great personal care worker has the ability to listen to the person they’re caring for. They take the time to ask them their personal story. Mum often said she was lonely after her much loved husband passed away in 2015. Some of the carers would notice that or sense her sadness when they visited. Their compassion helped to alleviate the loneliness by sharing little things about their lives.