Shared from the 1/24/2020 Sydney Morning Herald eEdition

Choose your own home support and care

Picture

Mable, an online platform, connects older people needing assistance with appropriate support.

More than 60 per cent of older Australians would strongly prefer to ‘‘age in place’’ – staying in their own homes and living independently in the community, according to the Productivity Commission report Housing Decisions of Older Australians, released in 2015.

A new online platform seeks to make it easier for older Australians to remain independent at home, with support.

Called Mable, the platform helps connect those who need care at home with support workers who best suit their requirements or share their interests.

The site aims to put choice and control at the centre of things, says Peter Scutt, the platform’s CEO and co-founder.

‘‘By 2037, 20 per cent of Australians will be over 65 and, at Mable, we are helping older people continue to have control of their own lives,’’ he says.

‘‘We do this by assisting them to directly select and build a support team that best shares their interests and meets their needs.

‘‘It’s very important that people remain in control over who comes into their home and when.

‘‘Care and support means different things for different people. It might be to keep on top of domestic chores and house and garden maintenance. Or it might be support and transport to stay engaged with friends and community events.

‘‘The big difference with Mable, as opposed to some other providers, is that it’s the person who is ageing who is in control.’’

Scutt describes Mable as an efficient marketplace where operating overheads are kept low and processes are simplified.

This can result in clients paying significantly lower rates for services compared with a traditional support provider – meaning clients can access more hours of support, he says.

Both clients and workers benefit from the safeguards in place on the Mable platform.

‘‘These include industry-leading insurance arranged on behalf of independent support workers using the platform; stringent onboarding clearances such as police checks and reference checks at a minimum, and nursing registration if relevant,’’ says Scutt.

‘‘Mable operates across Australia and has facilitated more than 1.8 million hours of support and has approximately 5600 approved and active independent workers on the platform.’’

Douglas Walker, 80, from Brisbane, has been self-managing with Mable for more than a year and has a team of five support workers.

‘‘I have a passion for family history and enjoy exploring all branches of research,’’ Walker says.

‘‘I recently published a second family history photo book – a support worker on Mable did the graphic design for it. I’m now working on my next book with their help, too,’’ he says.

‘‘Mable has given me control. I can choose who comes to my home, what they do for me and how they do it.

‘‘With traditional support workers, by the time I explained where the vacuum was kept and how it worked, it would have been quicker to just do it myself.

‘‘I can confidently say my older life has never been better – I would definitely say I’m ‘living the dream’ and that’s all since I began with Mable.’’

See this article in the e-Edition Here