Lynne knows firsthand the struggle that can come with caring for an older parent – trying to juggle her hectic schedule as a working mother of four with making sure her 79-year-old mum, Fay, was OK.
With some distance between their homes, it was difficult to dedicate enough time to visiting. And though Fay’s neighbour would check up on her, it wasn’t enough to alleviate the stress that came with not being able to be there herself.
“It was hard being so far away,” Lynne says. “I was often scared she would fall and something really bad would happen.”
Lynne worried her mum was becoming increasingly isolated and reluctant to ask for the support she needed for fear of being seen as a burden. She knew the situation needed to be addressed, but broaching the subject was never an easy task – she knew how much Fay valued her privacy and her independence.
Fay became a “master of disguise”, telling Lynne what she wanted to hear, which made it difficult to identify that she needed help. It wasn’t until a moment of crisis and a trip to the emergency room that Lynne and her family were forced to discuss the future.
Unfortunately, this just added to an already stressful situation. Lynne was unfamiliar with aged care options and what to expect, which made it difficult and time-consuming to find a good fit. She felt guilty taking time off work, her stress levels and anxiety were high, and the situation put a strain on her own family.
“It was really tough, to be honest. It all became a bit of a blur. It took up a lot of my personal time, which was already very limited. Thankfully my employer was great.”
Lynne was able to find her mum the support she needed in residential aged care and Fay’s quality of life immediately improved. She wishes they had talked about aged care options sooner. “I wish I’d had the hard conversations with Mum earlier.”
BlueCare can assist you at any stage in accessing aged care support – right from the point where you are wondering what to do and how to go about it. Care doesn’t have to be complicated. Call 1300 258 322.