Aged care: pop-in support

Caring for a loved one can be a full time and full on job. But Bupa's pop-in service is making a big difference helping carers cope.

When you’re caring for an ageing loved one, simple tasks or appointments you once took for granted can seem impossible.

But some of Bupa Aged Care’s homes have opened their doors to help by providing a pop-in service to allow carers to take much needed time out, knowing their loved one is happy and safe.

It all started at Bupa Aged Care Kempsey about five years ago when the team realised there was a gap in the system.

General Manager Donna Farrer says it became clear carers needed short term support.

 “When things pop up like a doctor’s appointment, guests can come here with no notice for a few hours a day,” she says.

“Some bring their loves ones in regularly, to tend to appointments or take a well earned break, others drop in when they need to.”

“I think it’s really, really helpful for someone having to look after someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Farrer. “It’s amazing how a break can help people.”

Farrer says it helps prevent burn out for carers, and also helps people look after their loved ones at home for longer.

Aged care visit

 “We have one woman who cares for her husband with dementia, who drops her husband off for the day,” says Farrer. “She has coffee with friends and gets her hair done, just to have a day free.”

“She still really wants to care for her husband but she’s not at that stage yet where she wants to let go of him,” Farrer says. “She feels refreshed after a day for herself and is very comfortable having him here knowing he’s kept busy and having a good day.”

It’s also a really positive experience for the guest.

 “The guest that comes into the home will fit in with what we’re doing. We also like to do a map of life and get to know them as well,” says Farrer. “It’s really important that we cater for their individual personalities.”

Guests can take part in a range of activities; bingo, gardening, outings or trivia, depending on what they’re interested in.

It’s proving to be an effective trial or transition into aged care.

“It gives them a little bit of a trial to make sure they feel comfortable in our home and alleviates some of the stigma surrounding aged care,” says Farrer.

It’s been so successful other aged care homes have followed suit.

Anyone who cares for a loved one full time can access the pop-in service, which only charges a small fee to cover meals and activities. To find out more about this and other services that might help you care for a loved one, call Bupa's Aged Care Support Line.

Bupa aged care support line

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