Frustrated by the lack of professional advice and services to help give her then 69-year-old mum the care she needed, Dana Sawyer took it upon herself to ensure it never happened to anyone else.
Joining up with former nurse Jayne Maini, the pair have grown Millennium Aged Care Consultants into a tour de force of hands-on personalised aged care service, as host Sarah Harris discovers in the third of our hit Game Changers series.
From offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and more recently Adelaide, the pair’s team of dedicated professionals have placed more than 4500 Australians into permanent and/or respite Aged Care.
“Sadly, mum is no longer with us [she passed away at home nine years ago] but her legacy is the help the company now gives thousands of seniors and their families,” says Dana, whose sister Margot also works for Millennium as one of its Sydney-based consultants.
Dana says that until Millennium came along it seemed to her that the service providers had all the say and her mission was to change the status quo and empower the clients.
“Millennium started because we could see that the current system really was not working,” Dana says. “We advocate for the client to ensure they understand their options and are aware they have real choices. This area is complicated – we are dealing with people and emotions, mixed in with family dynamics, large financial commitments and corporate providers.”
For a flat fee, Millennium takes care of all the worry and usual stresses associated with moving into assisted living, with a personal hands-on approach that’s unique in the industry.
With so much emotion and uncertainty involved, Dana tells Sarah that families often find it easier to deal with a third party.
Millennium’s pragmatic expert approach deftly skirts any internal family tension to fast-track the best result for the client.
“Often families don’t appreciate how hard this is until they’re in the middle of it,” she says. “We ensure independent support is available when trying to navigate aged care services or anything around seniors’ accommodation and care.
“Independent advice is important and something we can’t stress enough. We are national with consultants in each state, and certified under the National Safety and Health Quality Standards Organisation.”
Dana says the disability sector is now an area of growth for the rapidly expanding agency. They see a lot of crossover with what they’ve learned in age care over the last few years.
But no matter how big they become, Dana and co-founder Jayne say it’ll always be the individual success stories that drive them.
“There are plenty of hallelujah fist-pump moments!” says Dana, breaking into a warm smile as she reflects on the many happy seniors Millennium has helped.
For more details about Millenium Aged Care Consultants visit their website or call to speak to a consultant: 1300 755 702.
Watch our other Game Changers episodes: