• Family carer, Stephanie, shares her story during National Carers Week

    Family carer, Stephanie, shares her story during National Carers Week

    When Stephanie’s mum had a stroke aged 75, her daughter, Stephanie had to step in – dramatically changing the family dynamic, and her mother’s and Stephanie’s day-to-day life, forever.

    In recognition of National Carers Week (16–22 October), Stephanie shares the story of how Resthaven Community Respite Services not only supported her mum following this life-changing event, but gave Stephanie a break from her caring role, allowing her to take time to look after herself, too.

    Stephanie says, ‘Mum was always independent, and doing pretty much everything on her own, until the day she had a stroke.’

    ‘Thereafter, she wasn’t able to live on her own anymore, and she then came to live with us.’

    ‘When mum first came to us, it had a huge impact on everything; it’s a big change having mum come live with us, even though we loved having mum. I then looked around to see what support services were available, and Hersey Cottages was the perfect place.’

    Hersey Cottages, at 6–8 Township Road, Marion, is just one of Resthaven’s eight respite cottage locations in South Australia.

    The respite program offers day respite and short-term stays for older people in the cosy, home-like cottages. Staff provide all meals, and a range of stimulating activities for guests, depending on their individual preferences.

    Stephanie says, ‘Mum’s been coming here to Hersey Cottages for about four months, and I have seen such a marked improvement in her everyday life.’

    ‘She’s more alert and she’s more quick thinking. She’s got things on in her week, which has made all the difference to just who she is.’

    ‘She really looks forward to seeing her friends and the wonderful staff here. She always comes home so happy and bubbly and she tells me about her day and the interesting activities they’ve been doing.’

    ‘As a carer, it’s really important to have some time to yourself, because it’s a big commitment that you have in your life.’

    ‘I have really appreciated a little bit of time while mum is here, in good hands and having a lovely time, for me to go for a beach walk, or just to relax and read a book.’

    ‘If someone asked me whether it’s worthwhile for their loved one to go into respite a few hours a week, I would absolutely one hundred percent recommend it.’

    ‘It just makes all the difference in your life and in the person that you’re caring for.’

    ‘From the moment that I rang Resthaven, I’ve had loving, caring care. I really have. It’s been beyond good.’

    ‘The staff here at Resthaven and at Hersey Cottages have been incredible. They go so far beyond their jobs. You can tell that they are in it for the love of it.’

    ‘We’ve had nothing but positive experiences here. They make it so homely that mum actually feels like she’s coming to a second home.’

    ‘The thought and love they put into all their work and into all their activities is really, really wonderful. I can’t commend them more.’

    Running from Sunday 16 – Saturday 22 October 2022, National Carers Week is a time to recognise and celebrate the 2.65 million Australians who provide care and support to a family member or friend.

    National Carers Week is an initiative of Carers Australia, funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, and coordinated with the assistance and participation of the National Carer Network.


    Do you feel overwhelmed in your caring role?