Carmela & Mira’s story

“I’d like to take this opportunity to say that BENE has been an absolute lifeline for both my mother in law Carmela Sangregorio, myself Mira Sangregorio and the ongoing sanity of our whole family. My mother in law Carmela is a wonderful and most gracious woman who has helped not only raise my husband and his brother but all of our children as well as her great grandchildren.

She is a strong and dedicated woman who has been a constant pillar of support for everyone around her,including her late husband Antonio Sangregorio, who suffered from depression, having been a prisoner of war.So it comes as no surprise, that after the passing of her dearly beloved Antonio, we as a family were conflicted on how to best support our mum during this testing and difficult period.

BENE helped make this a smooth and comfortable transition for our family and most especially, for our now very frail, weak and emotionally exhausted mum. As you could imagine, we had families of our own and we were not sure how to best accommodate mum through our own work and family commitments.

We knew that we were not quite ready to send mum to a nursing home or retirement village and were pleased to find out that BENE were able to accommodate this by sending staff to assist her within her own home. They provided services such as supervision of personal hygiene, assistance with meal preparation and general home upkeep including maintenance of the gardens. Transport to and from appointments and grocery shopping was also facilitated, as an essential path to mum’s slow recovery of independence. 

It has been 9 years since Antonio passed and in those years although she never stops missing him, she has,with the assistance of BENE, become more confident and independent in her daily activities over time. Having BENE has also meant that us, as family members, can continue to lead our lives in a relatively usual way.  It means that some of the burdens of daily care have been lifted, whilst still enabling us to feel at ease in the knowledge that mum is being well cared for.

Last year unfortunately, due to mum having an anxiety attack and being hospitalized, we revisited her care plan as a family and decided that the best outcome would be, for her to stay in my family home. I am now her primary carer and am extremely grateful that once again, BENE have been able to make it a smooth transition.

BENE have been most compassionate and accommodating wherever possible, within the means of the community assistance package. We are extremely grateful for the personal care and respect given to the individual needs of mum and therefore our families.

Even through the language barrier, BENE have been able to accommodate mum by providing the same staff members weekly, thereby reducing her anxiety. This has also created a bonding experience and in turn, a sense of security. They are also giving her confidence in the knowledge that she is supported in a flexible and consistent routine within our home. Their constant reassurance that she still ‘does’ have the ability to care and do things for herself, has kept her motivated whilststill maintaining her dignity. I believe that this in itself has extended her life.

BENE have also kept her spirit alive, by providing access to social clubs and outings where she meets and has meaningful relationships with people outside of her own family, reminding her that there are still things to look forward to in life!

Special thanks from the bottom of my heart, to Marie Grant, (mum’s case manager for 7 years) for supporting me in all aspects of mum’s wellbeing.  I’d also like to thank Nancy Labbozzetta from the Oggi Con Noi Social Club and all BENE staff for respecting and accommodating mum’s cultural needs”. 

See all news