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.
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 Carers 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 21 years it’s hard to believe we started with one private care client and now we are celebrating servicing… over 7,100 families…
Our first in home care client was a remarkably inspiring woman – Mrs W. Just thinking of her 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 aged care in home carers 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 – 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 elder care and love. We wanted that for her. Mrs W’s 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.
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… 207+… 24… 8… 17… 72
Let me explain….
7,100+ families have trusted Daughterly Care to look after their loved family member when they couldn’t be there…
through 207+ exceptional aged care in home carers 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 20 years…
As a result… 72% 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 21 years.
Over 50% of our work is Live in Care – a lovely service where we provide one-on-one care in the client’s home on a daily rate that is significantly less than the hourly fee of ‘24 Hour care‘. It’s wonderful to stay in your own home for life – there truly is ‘no place like home’.
More and more of our ‘pay by the hour’ and ‘overnight care’ clients are choosing not to move to a nursing home…but to stay in their own home with our Live in Care nursing care.
Importantly we would like to thank you for being part of our journey by recommending Daughterly Care over the last 21 years. We really appreciate your trust in us.
Most importantly we would like to thank you for being part of our journey by trusting Daughterly Care to care for your loved family member.
For most people life starts and ends with their family…and the meaning to everything in between is their family.
We understand this, that’s why we started Daughterly Care. So for those times when you can’t be there yourself, it’s reassuring to know your loved one has the next best alternative… ‘Daughterly Care’.
I hope the story of Daughterly Care’s beginning gives you greater understanding into the passion that drives us and our team.
Kate Lambert and Verlie Hall
P.S. If you have been impressed with Daughterly Care’s level of home nursing service please forward a link to this page to your friends and colleagues in case their friends or family need our help. Your recommendation is our greatest compliment.
P.P.S. We’ll leave you with a list of nicknames our clients have ‘affectionately gifted’ to us over the past 21 years…
Daughters of Care
The Driving Miss Daisies!
The Original and Only Daughters of Care