Sometimes in life, there are souls who bring sunshine to everyone lucky enough to know them.
One of these people is 57-year-old Emine. As a wife, mother of three and proud grandmother, Emine has always been devoted to caring for people: first as a stay-at-home mum in charge of a busy household, then later in life as a Kmart store manager.
“She’s a warm and giving person,” said her son Huseyin. “Growing up, she was a really good mum. She was also a mother hen to all her Kmart employees. Everyone went to Emine for help, and she was passionate about doing charity work such as the Wishing Tree Appeal.”
Seven years ago, everyday life became quite challenging for Emine. She started forgetting common words, mixing up her sentences and accidentally burning food in the kitchen, even though she was a wonderful cook.
A specialist eventually diagnosed Emine with semantic dementia: a disease that impacts language and the ability to assign meanings to words. Although Emine has always been everyone’s hero – she had stomach cancer in 2000 and made a full recovery – this time, she needed help. After she was approved for NDIS funding, Emine’s family started looking for a team that would give their wife and mum the care she deserved.
Care that honours the individual
The team at Home Caring Footscray were more than happy to give Emine a helping hand.
Support Coordinator Nicole Rosser’s first step was to spend some time getting to know Emine and building a relationship with the family. “As soon as Nicole walked in, we got along like a house on fire,” said Huseyin. “We trust her; she’s an angel who truly cares about mum.”
Mehmet, Emine’s husband, agrees, adding that Nicole also empowered him with knowledge to better care for his beloved wife. “We’re new to this, and if no one teaches you how to care for someone with dementia, you just do what you know,” he said. “Nicole is like family, and when it comes to Emine’s care, I feel free to talk to her about anything.”
Motivated by Home Caring’s person-centred philosophy, Nicole sought to give Emine and her family genuine choice and control over her care. This meant being flexible to their preferences – for example, when the family wanted to include Emi’s former carers, Tara and Sam, into her support network, Nicole was more than happy to make this happen.
“There is so much love in Emine’s house, and at the end of the day, it’s all about the family and what they want,” said Nicole.
“It was important they had support workers they felt comfortable with. Our job is to help make Emi’s life with her family as prolonged, healthy and happy as possible, and to have the right supports in place.”
Care is a labour of love
Today, Emine’s care is personal and heartfelt. Taking into account her love of music, people and being outdoors, Tara and Sam take Emine to hydrotherapy classes each week, play the guitar with her, accompany her on morning walks and give her regular manicures.
Her entire support team work with the family to ensure everything is taken care of. This attention to detail benefits not just Emine, but her whole family. Caring for someone is not easy; it is a true labour of love that can be relentless. Knowing that an expert pair of hands is ready to help you, when you need it, makes all the difference.
“Home Caring has made our lives easier,” says Huseyin. “It takes a lot of stress off my dad’s shoulders because he has help.”
“Nicole and the physiotherapists and OTs have been amazing. We’re very lucky to find a good crew for my beautiful mum.”