“I know mum is okay, I don’t have to worry”: How our Home Care Packages help support caregiver children
61-year-old Cheryl Abolderrow has been looking after her mum, Norma Sommerfeld, since she was about 15 years old.
When Cheryl’s dad and brother both passed away, Norma moved in with Cheryl, her husband and her daughter – and she’s been there ever since.
“Mum’s been unwell for a long time,” Cheryl says. “She had a few falls, ended up in hospital, and the hospital staff told her that she should go into care at a nursing home. She was adamant that she wouldn’t be going. She said to me – ‘if you put me in there I will die’. So, we had to make it work somehow.”
Norma is 88 now, on a Level 4 (highest level) Home Care Package, and has lived in Cheryl’s house for 14 years. She has the master bedroom with its ensuite, with plenty of room for her recliner, television and her bed. Norma spends most of her time watching television, or eating meals with the rest of the family, but does require 24/7 care.
“You do have to do everything. She doesn’t walk, so you have to take her to the loo. As she has aged, she has got a bit of dementia, so she has lost a lot of ability,” Cheryl says.
How Feros Care can help
With her Home Care Package, Norma can access a variety of equipment for her needs, including her recliner, a wheelchair, a special bed, a shower chair and even the equipment used to move her from the bed to the bathroom.
Care workers attend each day to help with Norma’s grooming and offer Cheryl a bit of respite from her intense caring schedule.
“They shower her every day, which is a big help,” Cheryl says. “I know that mum is here being looked after and I can go out to pay the bills, or go have a coffee, and not have to worry. I look forward to having that time to myself every week.”
Norma enjoys the visits; the care workers might play some bingo with her or take her out on the deck to enjoy the sunshine. “She always seems to have a good time,” Cheryl adds, “she’s responsive, a bit more alert.”
As a carer, self-care is key