It’s one of life’s most challenging times: the death of your spouse. Often it can trigger significant change in our lives – change that may appear frightening and overwhelming.
Whereas once you could rely on your spouse to support you with many everyday situations, suddenly you are needing to navigate these situations alone.
This can be challenging at any age, but it’s particularly difficult as we age; during a time when we are feeling a little less able and a little more vulnerable.
And this was Mabel’s experience.
Following the passing of her husband, Mabel was living alone in her home in Brisbane with your trusty dog when she had a fall.
It was after the fall that she realised that she couldn’t manage on her own and she decided to move in with her daughter.
“I knew that my daughter couldn’t move to Brisbane – her life was so full – so it made sense for me to move to live with her in the Sunshine Coast hinterland,” said Mabel.
Mabel said that she and her daughter were travelling along well until her daughter had to go into hospital to have an operation.
“I needed some support because my daughter, Val, was very nervous about me staying home alone in case I had another fall,” said Mabel.
RangeCare CEO, Jenny McCafferty, said that this is an all-too-familiar story for many of RangeCare’s clients.
“Often people are travelling well and developing their own coping strategies so they can maintain their independence; and while people travel along well for a time, it only takes a family crisis or medical emergency to tip a family over the edge,” said Jenny.
“And then they find themselves in unchartered territory trying to navigate a large government bureaucratic system.
“It can be overwhelming, scary and frightening all at once.”
Mabel said that she first encountered RangeCare back in March 2016 when her daughter, Val, arranged for a respite stay while Val went into hospital for her surgery.
“I was very apprehensive of how I’d like being at respite for four days,” said Mabel.
“I had no idea what to expect.”
Mabel’s respite was organised by Kym, who is one of RangeCare’s scheduling team.
Kym remembers thoughtfully arranging for Mabel’s first respite stay with another new client, who was also unsure of what to expect.
“We always take care and are thoughtful in how we accommodate our respite clients,” said Kym.
“We want to ensure that our clients are staying alongside people that they will get along well with and who may be in a similar situation.”
Mabel remembers her first visit fondly.
“If I’d been royalty, I wouldn’t have been treated better.
“I don’t think I’ve met nicer people than all the carers; nothing is too much trouble for them.
“I’ve been here seven times now.”
Mabel said that it isn’t only the carers who look after them.
“The nursing staff from the office come over and check our medication … and The Cottage chef makes such beautiful meals – all are delicious.”
Overnight respite is just one of many services that RangeCare provide to people living along the Blackall Range and surrounding areas.
RangeCare’s full suite of services are designed to support people to remain living independently in their homes longer.
To find out more about RangeCare’s services or to make a donation to support our work within the community, visit www.rangecare.com.au, or call our Flaxton office on 5445 7044.