Oct 19, 2019

When caring for your family comes first

Maggie, 62 was working in law enforcement when she decided that it was time to quit and take care of her mum, Vera.

Not wanting her mother to live in residential aged care, she chose to care for her herself. That was over 12 years ago, and Maggie doesn’t resent having to make that decision.

She lives next door to her mother, who is 97 years old, and suffers from anxiety. However, despite her age, Vera still lives on her own, with support from her dedicated daughter. But Maggie does admit that it has been hard, and tiring.

Maggie and Vera. Image supplied.
Maggie and Vera. Image supplied.

“It has been a highly emotional as well as practical business,” she says. “I only want the best for mum, and I want her to live a premium life. That includes making sure that she remains independent and retains her dignity. That’s so important to her, and to me.”

Mother and daughter both receive a range of support to allow Vera to remain in her own home, including carer support for Maggie.

“It was hard at times, and very stressful, when we couldn’t get any of the services right, and the people weren’t right.

“But now that we receive support from Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH), and it’s been wonderful.”

Maggie is involved in the Support for Carers Program, which provides a range of opportunities for carers in the Eastern Metro Region, so they can spend some time alone, doing activities they enjoy.

“The quality of the program is fantastic, and the workers are just wonderful. I have regular massages, there’s lots of social inclusion, and classes like art therapy.”

Maggie says her quality of life, and that of her mum, has improved dramatically.

“It has done so much for the quality of the time we spend together. We are cared for wonderfully, and it just makes our time we do have together more special.

“It used to be very hard, especially for mum to get around. Now, we have a wonderful support who comes every fortnight and takes mum where she wants to go. It gives me the chance to have that time on my own, which I really need too.

“It just lifts such a weight off your shoulders.”

Maggie says spending time with other carers is another relief and has made new friends who all understand what it’s like to care for someone they love.

“We might see each other at the carers gym, sometimes we go out for a coffee. But we all understand each other’s situation, and that it’s not always easy to arrange to catch up.

“I’d love to have more time, but mum comes first. She might have an appointment or want to catch up with friends. It’s her life too.”

Maggie says while she is happy with the decision she has made for her mum; she wishes that others understood the full extent of being a carer.

“People don’t see the work that goes into it. They don’t see the unseen care.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Banner Banner

Advertising agency seeks over 55s for new internship

[email protected] is an eight-week, fully paid program, offering older people in Melbourne and Sydney the opportunity to work across all areas of the agency. In an industry dominated by young people, the internship presents a fantastic opportunity for older people to have their voices heard, and for the company to tap into a wealth of experience and expertise. Read More

Dementia: Training the Brain and the Body

Most of us know that exercise is good for us. Magazines, newspapers and TV programs constantly remind us that regular exercise can protect against obesity and any number of chronic diseases including hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But did you know that it may also help protect the brain from dementia as we... Read More

Go Gentle Australia: The Right to Choose What Happens in the End

Polls show that more than 75% of Australians support voluntary euthanasia and would like to see the introduction of new laws regarding it. Which is why television and radio personality Andrew Denton has founded the advocacy group “Go Gentle Australia”. “Go Gentle Australia” believe that it is the “right of all Australians to have a... Read More
Banner Banner