For Anne and John Page, raising their daughter with Down syndrome in the small township of Birchip in the Mallee region of Victoria, population 800 people, certainly comes with challenges.
Aside from needing regular therapy and medical appointments, which were not available locally, as their daughter Jo grew older, they found finding support workers who they not only trusted, but who Jo genuinely enjoyed spending time with, became almost impossible.
When the pair heard about Carer Solutions Direct Employ service from a friend, they immediately knew it was what they needed.
Ensuring that Jo had a connection with a potential support worker was the most important thing for Anne and John. They didn’t want strangers coming into their home, they wanted people who understood Jo, embraced her interests and who felt like part of the family.
“Whenever we went into the local post office, there was a lovely woman called Wendy, who took the time to engage with Jo, and Jo just loved going in to see her for a chat,” Anne recalls.
After noticing the strong connection between Wendy and Jo, Anne decided to ask Wendy if she would be interested in being employed by the Page family to be one of Jo’s support workers. She said yes without hesitation, and has now been with the family for over three years.
Partnering with Carer Solutions really empowered Anne to ‘think outside the square’ when building Jo’s trusted team of support workers.
Living an hour away from the nearest large town, Anne has had to get creative when seeking support workers for Jo. Just because they may not live in the same town as you, doesn’t mean they can’t provide respite and support. One of Jo’s support workers often supports Jo via FaceTime for her speech therapy practice.
Another one of Jo’s support workers, Nicki, lives over two hours away. So the family travel there together for a holiday and Jo spends the days painting and going out with Nicki to cafes and the movies, while Anne and John get a chance to relax, knowing Jo is in exceptional hands and making the most of her holiday.
The family travel to Queensland every year, so Anne is now looking to employ a seasonal support worker in Queensland who can take Jo out and about, while Anne and John enjoy some much-needed downtime.
The Direct Employ service not only enables Anne and John to choose support workers that they already know and trust, but also someone who Jo loves spending time with. Oh, and Carer Solutions take care of all the time-consuming stuff such as payroll and PAYG tax, leaving them more time to do what they love.