Claire’s Story

Genevieve Kelly knew that the call was going to come, and she was prepared — well, prepared enough to know that she was going to immediately call on professional assistance to help with the transition.

Her aunt, Claire, had been diagnosed at 64 with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Claire’s husband was ten years older than her, and although he had been designated as her carer, was also experiencing declining health.

Holding on tightly to independence

“Despite holding on very strongly to their independence for years,” says Genevieve, “ultimately there’s a balance needed between respect for the freedom and rights of the individuals to live their lives as they choose, against the need for everyone to be safe.”

Claire’s condition was deteriorating faster than the wider family had realised, until it became clear that her increasing confusion was leading to issues with driving, amongst other complications that were beginning to put people’s safety at risk.

When Claire’s husband was admitted to hospital for an extended period after a health incident, because he was her official carer, and was no longer able to fulfil that role, Claire was nominated as requiring permanent care.

As the hospital activated the system and alerted that Claire was needing placement, Genevieve’s power of attorney (POA) was also activated straight away.

A complex process with many moving parts

“You hear stories from people you know, from your friends,” says Genevieve.

“And even when you know that it’s a situation that you’ll be facing, as I did, you still sort of have it hovering in the background as an eventuality — rather than something you have to immediately deal with, right then and there,” she describes.

“I had done enough homework to know that the process was complex with many moving parts, and that I would be engaging professional assistance from the beginning,” she says.

Pauline was referred to Genevieve and the family through an old friend of Claire’s, so the very strong personal recommendation was supported by the fact that Claire’s friend knew her so well, and knew her preferences very clearly.

The timeframe for placement, when it came, was urgent, as it always is.

“We were aided by the fact that we already had POA in place,” explains Genevieve, “and the ACAT assessment team had already completed their process, with the ‘permanent care’ option already nominated by them.”

From the first phonecall

“What we were so impressed with about Pauline,” says Genevieve, “is that right from that very first call she started working immediately — and she had a placement for Claire nearly straight away.”

In terms of Claire’s special needs, there was a relocation of sorts to be achieved, from where she had been living on Victoria’s Surf Coast, back to Melbourne to be closer to family and older roots.

“We had to take into account the needs of many different people,” says Genevieve, “both family and friends, and Pauline handled it all beautifully.

“The facility that was chosen worked for everyone.”

Pauline was able to locate the right placement for Claire and the family within days of the first call from Genevieve.

“Pauline’s approach met and exceeded all expectations”

Right from the first call, Pauline’s honest and professional approach was appreciated by the family.

“In watching Pauline work, and how she navigated the system, how she knew her way around all of the details that needed to be handled, and how she managed all the personalities involved — I was able to see straight away that: she’s got this.

“I had very high expectations, and these were met and exceeded on all levels.

“We were very comfortable with all aspects of working with Pauline, and I’m very happy to vouch for her services,” says Genevieve.

“Would I recommend Pauline? I would and I have.”

Pauline’s family-centred approach comes with firm but gentle clarity and the competence of years of experience. She’ll ease your concerns — supporting your family with all aspects of this process and allowing you to focus on your loved one.

Because she’s an independent professional, the advice she gives is based entirely on your individual circumstances — backed up by her knowledge of the system and experience in navigating it.

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