All my friends are turning 50. All my friends’ parents (and mine) are turning 80. The conversations we’re having at our half-century celebrations are definitely different to those we were having as we’ve celebrated milestones over the years.
It may not seem like party conversation, however it’s actually been great to talk to friends who are going through the same thing I am. “Aging parents. What’s our role? What help do they need? In-home care? Private or government assistance? Where do you start? What do you do if you’re not happy with your Care provider or carers?”
So many things to discuss. It’s comforting, reassuring and more often than not it’s extremely helpful.
Mum and Dad are in the fortunate position that we haven’t had to access a Government Home Care Package. We haven’t had to go down the ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) path or choose a service provider purely on the fact that they’ve had availability of that level of package.
So what that means is we’ve had a lot more freedom than most have had to choose a private home care service to help. But before we even began the process and decided on a private home care provider, we knew there were a few things we needed to consider for Mum and Dad:
- Accepting any sort of help was new to them, we needed to introduce it slowly
- They absolutely love being at home and in their own environment, so in-home care was the only option
- They value building friendships, so there needed to be continuity Carers
- They have high expectations when it comes to trust, service and skills
Having the freedom didn’t necessarily make it any easier – we still had to do our homework and it didn’t mean we’d get it right the first time. Following some online research we chose a private home care service. Looking back now we missed out the most important step of all – getting feedback from someone who is actually using the service provider. Testimonials and recommendations are so important.
It only took a few weeks with our chosen provider to realise we were not getting all the things we had wanted for Mum and Dad. What we got was the absolute opposite to our wish list:
- Every week someone different turned up
- The Carers were more interested in taking Mum to the shopping centre that suited them rather than to Mum’s regular market
- Their attention to detail when it came to the domestic chores just wasn’t there, I found Mum vacuuming the lounge just after they’d been
As a family we were distressed. Me, because I’d arranged everything, I’d made the decision about the provider and I felt I’d totally let Mum and Dad and my siblings down. I had wanted to provide help and I’d only made things worse. Mum and Dad, instead of feeling reassured and comforted that someone was helping them with the things they were finding difficult, were experiencing the absolute opposite.
It was after attending another 50th celebration and hearing absolutely rave reviews about Five.Good.Friends. that I learned it was possible to switch between care providers, I got in touch with a Care Advisor through calling their number (1300 787 581).
From the very first phone call, the experience was totally different. We were introduced to a Community Manager who came to the house and took the time to understand the care and help we were looking for. They designed a personal Help Plan for us and matched us with the best Helper – we even got to be a part of the selection process. This step alone went a long way to assisting Mum and Dad accept help – they really appreciated the time Five.Good.Friends. took to listen to them and develop a plan just for them.
It’s now a few months down the track since we switched to Five.Good.Friends. I’m so happy we made the switch. It has made things so much better for our family. For me, the Five.Good.Friends. Help App means that I can take care of the behind the scenes scheduling anytime day or night. I can see who is in the house, when and I get little notes from the Helper about how the visit went. This is brilliant as I work full-time and have 3 children in high-school. For, Mum and Dad, they are enjoying the time they spend with their regular Five.Good.Friends. Helper – she is welcomed into their home like a long lost friend.
Our family is so relieved. Mum and Dad are getting the help and care they need and most importantly, the help and care they deserve.
If you’d like to chat to one of our Care Advisors (obligation free) then when you are ready, please call us on 1300 787 581.