Daughterly Care … The Untold Story

Kylie Kate Lambert Daughterly Care co-founder and Home Care Package expert

Kylie Lambert
(Known as Kate for 25 years.)

Daughterly Care co-founder and CEO

More than 7,100 families have trusted Daughterly Care to enable and assist their loved one to stay at home.

Here’s the untold story of how we started…

Starting over 24 years ago, one by one, NSW families decided Daughterly Care was the best in home care provider to visit, support, assist, enable, re-enable, connect and engage with, care for, nurse and palliate their loved one …

their Spouse, Mum and Dad, their Aunties and Uncles. (In emergencies, we have even provided the care for children and grandchildren that our clients would have liked to have provided if they had been younger).

I still remember clearly that night 24 years ago…

when Verlie and I sat at Jean Parlane’s dining table and invited her to join us on our Daughterly Care journey. Jean never hesitated, not even for a second…she was a total believer from the ‘get go’

…which was incredibly brave because we only had one client!

We had no vision or plan to reach any size, turnover or profit.

Jean was a Registered Nurse and single Mum with sole financial responsibility for two teenage sons…so giving up her job to join us was taking a definite risk – but not in Jean’s eyes. She knew seniors and Elders wanted to stay in their own home and that sometimes they just needed a few hours of help

sometimes they needed a lot more such as our Live in Care service or 24 hour care.

Jean remains more passionate than ever…

for older peoples’ rights to ‘live their way’ and determine their life and she still speaks up when she sees something ‘not quite right’.

Jean was recently on the New South Wales Central Coast starting over-night care for our 4,999th client.

exceptional elder care on sydney

Jean Parlane
High Care and 24hr Live in Care Case Manager

Daughterly elderly home care workers

Celebrating our 5,000th Client

By the way, our 5,000th client was a lady in a nursing home in Sydney’s North Shore, at Mosman who we visit to assist her to eat her lunch.

No vision and no plan, but plenty of heart-felt mission

We didn’t start Daughterly Care to make money. I know that’s ‘an impossibility’ for some people’s thinking … however it’s the truth and it’s not uncommon that great passion starts and drives a business more than money.

The simple truth is we started Daughterly Care for Verlie’s happiness and my sanity. Let me explain …

Verlie worked in a nursing home and was NOT enjoying working there. There was no time to connect and relate to the residents.

Each morning the staff ran to grab clean sheets and towels before they ran out. The breaking point was finding the Matron’s son sticking toothpaste up the inside of a male resident’s nose. The resident was very frail and helplessly laying flat on his back. When Verlie asked him what he was doing he said “he wanted to see what the man would do”.

Yes, that behaviour is elder abuse.

To top it off – the BMW- driving-nursing-home-owner never paid Verlie or any of the nurses their superannuation – I guess he bought the BMW for himself instead!

Verlie Hall Daughterly Care co-founder and registered nurse

Verlie Hall
Daughterly Care co-founder and Managing Director

So Verlie started nursing in hospitals. She was awarded Enrolled Nurse of the Year in 1992. Verlie did NOT enjoy working in the hospitals either because there was no time to talk to the patients – in fact she got into trouble for listening to a female patient who was crying after both her breasts were removed due to cancer and she was worried her boyfriend would not love her anymore.

Finally, Verlie found a place where she had time to look the client in the eye, smile and connect – and she loved her role.

The Tom O’Neil Dementia Day Care Centre was the leading dementia day care centre in Sydney. Verlie loved working for Julia Poole…now Professor Julia Poole. And the rest of the team were fabulous. They understood dementia – and they understood the value of connecting with Elders – that the care of the heart and the mind was just as important as the body. They were providing a great service for the clients on the Sydney’s Lower North Shore.

Bad bosses often cause new businesses!

…but then management changed and one day the new manager gave Verlie a hand written note to give to the wife of a man with dementia when Verlie dropped him home. The note said that the manager did not like the man’s new hair cut! Verlie couldn’t believe it!

There was NO WAY she was giving his wife that note. Verlie knew what a tiring and outstanding job his wife was doing caring for him, twenty four seven.

I was a boss, Deputy Managing Director of 100 staff at Count Wealth Accountants with 400+ franchises around Australia. I hated hearing anyone complain about their boss – and as Verlie’s best friend – trust me – she was wearing my ears out – she was so unhappy.

I advised Verlie to request a meeting with her boss and coached her how to ‘problem solve’ the issues. Her manager opened the meeting with “the last person I had a meeting with was a Junior Doctor and he resigned after our meeting”. Clearly problem solving was not on the agenda … so I said – “ok, I give up – I can’t bear it, lets start a business and you can care for elderly people the way you want to care for them Verlie”.

From the start, the only financial goal Verlie and I set, was that we defined ‘success’ as… Verlie earning $1 more than her wage of $18,000 per annum.

AND, this is the critical point…

caring for Elders the way Verlie knew how to care for them.

But what we lacked in business vision we made up for in our heart-felt-mission…

…to care for older people Verlie’s way…

…the way a Caring Daughter would care for their parent, the way Verlie cared for her mother and her clients…

…hence our name – Daughterly Care.

Daughterly Care Co-Founder Verlie and her Mother

Verlie with her Mum

We wanted to care for seniors and Elders in their own home

with understanding, respect, kindness and high regard…and at times with great fun and affection…

…how could we not?..


…how could our Nurses and In Home Caregivers not?

We’ve met so many wonderful enjoyable, appreciative, kind inspiring Elders, families and aged care workers on our journey.

Looking back over the last 24 years it’s hard to believe we started with one private care client and now we are celebrating being of service to… over 7,100 families…

Our first in home care client was a remarkably inspiring woman – Mrs W. Just thinking of Mrs W makes me smile.

(We’d love to write her name, just to honour her, however we don’t disclose our private clients’ names – quite the opposite – we safeguard their privacy. Security and privacy are also the reasons why our in home Caregivers don’t wear branded uniforms or drive branded cars).

Mrs W was such an inspiring woman that to this day she remains with us… on our office wall …

…smiling with her powerful positive energy and we smile with her as we walk by her each day. (We never heard her say one bad word about anyone. At 93 Mrs W was full of life, love and pride of her family. She was also full of appreciation and gratitude – a simple thank you goes along way in this world).

When Mrs W was in hospital dying after a fall, aged 93, we visited her on our way to Verlie’s mother’s for dinner. As we said goodbye, although semi-conscious, with her eyes closed, Mrs W lifted her head off the pillow, as if to say goodbye, and a tear rolled down her face. It was heart wrenching.

Thirty minutes later we arrived at Verlie’s Mother’s and sat down to a delicious baked dinner. Then Verlie stood up and kissed her mother and said “Mum, I know you have cooked this amazing baked dinner for me and it looks delicious but I really have to go, I have this strong feeling that I need to get back to the hospital to Mrs W. I’m so sorry. It can’t wait”.

Visiting hours had long finished so we talked our way through hospital security. As we walked into Mrs W’s hospital room, the two orderlies walked out saying “I don’t know why we are bothering to turn her”. They walked straight into us.

Mrs W heard them and so did we.

This was a highly regarded private hospital – still is – they were so embarrassed that we had heard their indifference – they knew if we reported them they may lose their job.

And their attitude was exactly WHY we HAD to be there, so Mrs W was surrounded with genuine and love felt care. We wanted that for Mrs W. Her sons had been with her all day and had said their goodbyes.

Mrs W died in our company

Verlie, unable to speak, held and kissed Mrs W’s hand and ran her fingers through her hair and over her head as I retold one of Mrs W’s favourite travel memoirs that she had shared with us many times… modified for the moment we found ourselves in…

“Your beloved husband, who you dearly miss, is waiting for you at the Penisular Hotel, in Hong Kong. He is sitting in your favourite café where you enjoy ‘people watching’. He has ordered you ‘high tea’ and is waiting for you. He has really missed you. And now it is time to leave your sons and join him… however… you will be able to watch over your sons and your grandchildren and your great grandchildren from the café with your husband. Travel safely surrounded by love, you beautiful lady”.

And Mrs W passed over peacefully to her beloved husband with the comforting thought that together they would watch over their family forever more.

There was great sadness for us, yet a steely determination to hold it together and give Mrs W a peaceful and easy passing.

Mrs W had repeatedly told Verlie she was ‘like a daughter’… and so had other clients – so you see our early clients had a hand in choosing our name… Daughterly Care.

Today Mrs W would NOT have died in hospital…

Daughterly Care’s specialist palliative care team would have bought her home from hospital and cared for her at home. Her family would have come and gone as they needed – each laying with her whispering their final goodbyes of love and safe keeping, just as Verlie’s mother had laid with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren … one at a time.

… and as my mother wishes to lay with her adored 11 grandchildren.

So from one client – the remarkable Mrs W – we have grown … one client at a time …

and today these are our numbers… 7,100… 220+… 24… 14… 21+… 73

Let me explain….

7,100+ families have trusted Daughterly Care to look after their loved family member when they couldn’t be there…

through 220+ exceptional in home aged care caregivers and Nurses who were born with ‘special caring ways’ and ‘uncommon common sense’…

..we have been there for our staff, clients and the family of our clients for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…

Our in home carers have been backed up by an knowledgeable team of 14  High Care Case Managers, Registered  Nurses and Aged Care Co-Ordinators all of whom consider themselves privileged to support elders to live with dignity, grace and independence in their own home.

for over 24 years…

As a result… 73% of new clients are recommended or referred to Daughterly Care because of our well earned reputation.

Born of frustration and grown with loving care

7,100+ families trusting us to care for their loved family member is a milestone we enjoy celebrating.

What a journey it has been… born of frustration and grown with heart felt empathy for the needs of older people.

We now operate from 2 locations  Narrabeen (next to Woolworths) and our Mosman Aged Care Advice Centre (opposite Westpac Bank).

100% of our work is ‘Consumer Directed Care‘ for private care clients and has been for over 24 years.