Providing personal care to Melbourne seniors and people living with a disability means we get to meet other members of their family. Through Respite Now’s family-insight meeting we come to understand the sort of support the person requires from us to assist them stay in their home longer, independently and safely. We see the integral role these family members play in the lives of their elders and loved ones. They also often assist us as we plan and develop our care and support plan and select a suitable Personal Care Attendant (PCA). Respite Now’s ClientCarerMatchmaker is Melbourne’s only Values, Interests & Preferences (VIP) based care planning service which culminates with the care recipient and their family meeting the designated PCA before confirming to go ahead with our service.
Sons, daughters and even grandchildren help provide insight into the values, interests and preferences seniors have as they move through the various stages of aging. Now, more than ever, todays ‘typical’ Melbourne family is changing and is quite different to how we previously perceived a family. One thing is for sure we are all getting older and our longer life-span often means more than one generation are closely involved in the support of their parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters and often living with them and sharing their lives. Not all families are fortunate enough to have available family members living close to them, helping care for them, as it becomes evident they need help at home. Our work caring for people in the community who need support enlivens us as we see love and support being made available to family members in need.
Milly, thankfully shared her story with Respite Now.
WIN 1 HOUR OF HOME CARE
RIGHT: Timber, like water, is one of life's central life forces. This picture we call 'old pier of life'
If you can pen a better name, we'll consider it carefully and not only credit your suggestion but the
best answer receives 1 (one) hour of Home Care at no charge (some very minor conditions apply)
Existing customers have 1 hour of fess debited from their account.
MY GRANDFATHER TELLS BAWDY JOKES
By Milly 29/9/15
Last year he was cutting some timber for a piece of furniture he was making. He misjudged the distance for the first time in his life and severed the tips of his fingers on the circular saw. He picked up his fingers, found my mother at work in the garden and asked if she could drive him down the hill to Lyn’s house to see if she could bandage him up. Lyn sent them straight to the hospital where he got patched up.
Shortly after the accident my grandfather contracted shingles. He started to look and feel old. Before that he never mentioned his age, not to me anyway. He withdrew and became more solitary than normal. Around that time he gave me a laptop because he'd recently upgraded. Being naturally curious, I went looking through some old files and found a formal document officially donating his body to the local university in the event of his death. I mentioned this to mum who said she thought he was preparing for the end. We felt he had given up hope. If he couldn’t trust his hands anymore then what was the point?
Mum put a quiet word out around the neighbourhood and over the subsequent months a couple of the younger and not so young men started paying my grandfather social visits - talking about their animals, tools, asking him for advice on timbers, trees and gardening. Those compassionate, subtle men valued my grandfather’s knowledge and he started making furniture again.
This weekend my mother, grandmother and I spent Sunday at a county community market, selling my grandfather’s furniture. He has spent the last few months furiously creating beautiful things; he calls them ‘treens’, an old Swedish word meaning little wooden things. I spent large swathes of Sunday telling strangers how wonderful my grandfather is. When I returned to the house and told him what I had been doing he was appalled. I jokingly told him I was going to make him a website and print business cards and he would become a famous artist. He covered his ears in horror and in his quiet way, quickly changed the subject.
The four of us sat around my grandparent’s lounge room arguing the definition of “ghetto” and being very careful not to tell my grandfather how proud we were of him. So, I’m telling you instead.