Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living

Home Care Heroes

Written By Emma Brancatisano

Photos Supplied By Home Care Heroes

Local duo and social changers Jenna Leo and Mathieu Bertrand are out to mend loneliness in their community. And they’re doing it one small, yet heroic, act at
a time.

Two years ago, the newlyweds, set up a home care business after being rocked by a tragedy of their own.

“When we were 26, Mat’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer back in Canada. While his mum was caring for him, she got encephalitis – a rare disease that is triggered by high stress,” Ms Leo said.

Mr Bertrand’s mother was left in a coma and lost all of her memory, while his father moved through treatment. Fortunately the pair recovered, moving to Sydney to live.

“They loved it here. But we were both working full time, and every time they left the house to go for a walk, they’d get lost,” Ms Leo said.
“It was really stressful for all of us.”

When Ms Leo and Mr Bertrand struggled to find a suitable home care option that was reliable and affordable, they came up with their own. “We weren’t after medical care. We just needed someone to drop in for a cup of tea,” Ms Leo said

Home Care Heroes are NDIS Approved Providers and through their online platform they match care-seekers with local carers or “heroes” who provide domestic assistance, transport services and companionship. “It’s all based around a members’ personal goals,” Ms Leo said. “This could be playing video games, going to the theatre or learning how to cook, but also being able to experience joy.”

Each hero moves through an online assessment before being interviewed by staff face-to-face.

Members can post a specific job or search for heroes based on certain activities or hobbies – like comics and anime. “We took our members to Comic-Con last year. It makes such a difference when there is that common interest,” Ms Leo said, aligning heroes as “extensions of each other’s families”.

In two years, about 2000 members and 3000 heroes in Sydney and on the Central Coast have joined the Home Care Heroes community.

As part of the ‘Remarkable Accelerator Program' for tech startups focused on people with disabilities, the couple have their eyes on expanding their vital services into Newcastle and other capital cities.

“Loneliness plays a huge part in mental and physical health. Having that interaction with someone who cares for your wellbeing makes such a difference,” Ms Leo said.

"But on the flipside of loneliness is the hero side. We’re giving people in the community a chance to support someone and feel valued."

“That certainly lifts your spirits.”

To learn more about Home Care Heroes , visit their website

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