How home care has given Phoebe and Penny the gift of time

Help at Home client Penny (left) with longtime carer Sue. Penny receives home care from Help at Home by Montefiore

Help at Home by Montefiore has given Phoebe Vincent something invaluable – more time at home with her mother Penny, who is living with dementia.

Phoebe Vincent and her mother, Penny, have always been close. So six years ago, when Penny was unable to manage at home living with dementia, it was a natural step for Phoebe to move into her mother and stepfather Miles’ Paddington home to help care for her.

In 2017, Phoebe realised they needed more support so she could return to work. That’s when she first turned to Help at Home by Montefiore on the recommendation of family and friends.

At first, the family assumed home care would be a relatively short-term solution for Penny before residential care became necessary. Five years later they are thrilled that Penny is still happy, safe and comfortable at home. It’s all thanks to loving care from Phoebe and Miles, supported by their Help at Home care coordinator and carers. “Penny’s has been a real success story,” says her care coordinator James Waide. “We’ve been able to support her through a serious illness and make daily living easier for her and her family.”

Phoebe (left) is a full-time carer for her mother Penny, with extra support from Help at Home

How home care works

Coordinators provide an initial assessment of care needs and help with the application process. They then review and adjust care as a client’s needs change over time. Coordinators are also responsible for checking in with their team of regular carers to ensure they’re following all Montefiore’s COVID-19 precautions and keeping up with essential training.

For Phoebe, there’s no question that Help at Home has allowed Penny to remain at home for longer. A two-day period without carers last year (while the family awaited COVID-19 test results), highlighted how difficult it would be without regular support. “I’m very hands-on,” says Phoebe. “But Mum needs assistance with walking and getting moving so having a carer and extra pair of hands is essential. Especially as Miles is too frail.”

Another benefit of having regular carers is the companionship they offer to the whole family. This has been particularly vital in times of isolation amid lockdown.

Getting the right support for you

When asked what advice she has for others considering home care, Phoebe says she’s learned that it’s possible to achieve more than she imagined with the right support. “People have a lot of fear about whether they can cope with keeping their loved ones at home, but there is so much you can do now to make it work for your family,” she says. “I love being able to look after my mother,” adds Phoebe. “I’m an only child, without brothers and sisters to share the load. So I’m very grateful that Help at Home has made it possible for us.”

Let us know how Help at Home can support you. Ph: 1800 251 537 or visit: