My Mum (Cynthia) is a mother of three children. In the past she was a teacher and later worked in aged care. Mum took immense pride in her intellectual capabilities, so in 2010 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it was a cruel blow to both her and the family.
We were told by a friend who worked in aged care we should do the Living With Memory Loss course through Alzheimer’s Australia VIC. They gave us a list of things we needed to do… one was to get an Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS) assessment. We had an assessment and were very lucky that we were recommended to the CISS Home Care package program.
We were nervous about accepting a package because Mum was resistant to help and wondered how we would get Mum to agree to accept the package. The case manager was very understanding and found the right person for Mum. We were very nervous meeting a new person but within half an hour we realised that Gayle was like a long lost family member.
Working with Mum is not necessarily easy. Mum now loves Gayle and Dad says Gayle is “worth her weight in gold”. Mum’s changing needs have meant Gayle’s role has changed but this has been easier due to the trust and friendship made. Gayle successfully reintroduced Mum to the Each Killara Planned Activity Group (PAG) where we had previously tried but failed.
Mum’s friends and family are grieving for the loss of the woman she used to be. The support from EACH has made a huge difference to Dad. He has gone from being a husband to a carer who now cooks, cleans, does the laundry, pays the bills, and assists Mum with other personal needs. This is overwhelming for Dad but the thought of doing it without the support from EACH is unbearable.
Due to Mum’s changing needs she now requires further support. We didn’t want to lose Mum’s EACH case manager or support workers. However the case manager convinced us to apply for a higher needs package. We have been fortunate to be offered a high needs package which will enable Mum to stay at home with Dad rather than in permanent residential care.
“I would like to express our gratitude as a family for all the hard work that has gone into making our experiences with EACH a success.” – Cynthia’s daughter.
EACH as a Social and Community Health Service delivers a range of programs to older adults living in the community.
Our aim is to maintain independence, self esteem and lifestyle. We recognise that family members and friends play an important role in care planning and promoting active participation in the community.