Alf’s Story: The rocky road to success

Alf 2  Alf 1

For 76-year-old Egyptian-born Alf, success hasn’t come easy. He overcame several setbacks to build his own successful transport company. Now retired, Alf and his wife Anne Marie are facing some health challenges. But they’ve found the critical support they need with ADEC.

Alf migrated from Egypt to Australia with his mother in 1969. He was 23, and despite some initial language difficulties, Alf was excited to embrace his new home country.

“My brother was already in Australia, so it was a happy arrival for us because my mother and I hadn’t seen him for a few years,” he explains. “My first language is French and I speak Italian, but my English wasn’t great to start with.”

Alf started work with Henry B Smith, then moved on to large transport company TNT. He began his career with TNT in Melbourne, and transferred to Brisbane as he worked his way up the ranks. Then, as Administration Manager for Queensland, he faced an incredibly tough task.

“At that time, TNT was in some trouble financially,” he says.  “Unfortunately, I had to terminate some local people who I had known for a long time. That affected me on a personal level and caused some psychological damage.”

Alf spent some time in a mental health facility to recover from the traumatic experience. He also had a serious accident in 1999, which left him in hospital for eight weeks and wheel-chair bound for a further six weeks.

But those experiences didn’t stop Alf. He bought a takeaway shop in Melbourne with his brother, then started his own transport company.

“My wife was working with us in the takeaway shop. It was new to us all, and very hard work,” he says. “My wife and I got out of it after about two and half years, but we did okay out of it.”

Alf’s transport company went from strength to strength, and he eventually decided to retire from the flourishing business. A devoted family man, Alf joined his wife in taking care of their six-month-old grandson. They lovingly cared for him for almost a decade, before experiencing some health issues of their own.

After experiencing periods of dizziness, Alf was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. Anne Marie is battling Parkinson’s Disease.

“It presents a lot of challenges,” Alf says. “I’m doing physical therapy and acupuncture, and medication is now controlling it. And my wife has gone through a nightmare over the last five months with a broken hip and pelvis.”

Fortunately, Alf and Anne Marie are getting the support they need with ADEC’s Home Care Packages.

“We found ADEC through Blue Cross about six years ago, and we’ve been with ADEC ever since,” he explains. “It’s a big help that we couldn’t do without.”

ADEC’s Government-funded Home Care Packages aim to help people aged 65 years and over access personalised in-home care and support. ADEC provides Home Care services to assist their clients to continue living safely and independently in their own home.  ADEC support workers can help with household tasks like meal preparation, medication assistance, and continence management.

“Samantha is our Aged Care Case Manager, and her empathy, support and assistance is beyond what we ever expected,” Alf says. “If we need assistance, we know it’s there. I would recommend ADEC without a doubt.”

Please click here to learn more about ADEC’s personalised Home Care Packages, or contact us on (03) 9480 7000.