“My favourite memory of my mother is from when I was seven-years-old. My mother was extremely good at all athletic games, but she played table tennis at a very high standard. She used to travel the world to compete and she won many, many trophies. Every week I would look forward to watching her play in championship games. I was allowed to stay up until 9pm on the evenings she competed. It was a real treat.” – Martin Warner.
Martin Warner, director of Home Instead Australia, has always cherished his close relationship with his mother, Sheila. He admired her independent personality and kind nature. Sadly, 15-years-ago a degenerative spinal disease stole Sheila from her active lifestyle to a wheelchair. Despite Sheila’s resistance to receive any help for many years, she soon found herself requiring some assistance with everyday life and Martin became her primary carer.
Martin quickly became an expert in caregiving from his devotion to helping his mother. He soon also recognised the lack of choice and flexibility inhome care services in Australia, so when the chance to establish Home Instead arose, Martin and his wife Sarah jumped at the opportunity. “We have always wanted to work in a substantial business together and it was something meaningful to us. We had seen first hand how we could improve the lives of many seniors,” Martin said.
The couple vowed to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families by providing reliable, well-trained companions – the Home Instead CAREGivers of today. Martin said a quality home care service starts with building a relationship of trust and understanding the needs of clients and their families’.
Sheila’s determination to stay independent stopped her from using Home Instead’s CAREGiving services initially, but she quickly realised her freedom and quality of life would increase with the support of a CAREGiver by her side. “She needed someone to do fun ladies activities with, like shopping for skirts and blouses,” Martin said.
Shelia now lives next door to Martin. With the in-home support she receives from Martin and her Home Instead CAREGiver, Sheila and Martin are able to spend quality time with each other every day; sharing meals, playing quizzes and talking about politics as they always have. Martin says their mother and son relationship has transformed to a loving peer to peer relationship, “although sometimes she still talks to me like I’m a child but I just respond as an adult. I think many mothers are like that, particularly as I’m her youngest” Martin laughed.
Sheila is proud of what Martin has achieved and carries Home Instead brochures around in her handbag to give out to the community. She enjoys reading any publicity Home Instead receives in the media and she boasts of their outstanding services.
“My mother still remains the most sociable person I have ever come across,” Martin said proudly.