We invited members of our community to share their experiences and perspectives of aged care services. Disclaimer: These stories have not been independently verified. They do not necessarily represent the opinion of Aged Care Reform Now and are shared for information purposes only.
My parents entered care in January 2018. They had been living with me in the hope of keeping them out of care but then dad lost his mobility, and mum had memory loss. They wished to stay together so they both entered care where they remained until recently when they passed away 4 months apart. They had been married for 68 years so it was not expected that they would be apart for long.
The facility was chosen as it was only minutes from the home we shared and allowed me to visit regularly and to also take them to their club for lunch once a week. My adult children also live close by so they were able to continue their visits and interactions with their great-grandchildren, which was beautiful to see.
I was a regular visitor (perhaps too regular from the facility’s perspective) and often joined in the morning exercise class if I arrived and my parents had participated that day. I developed a good relationship with the hands-on carers and other support staff just like you do with your children’s teacher and for the very same reason! Mum didn’t like the food but she had been an exceptional cook so it was always going to be a tough gig. I baked their favorite cakes before my visits and filled their room with more snacks than the corner store. These I later referred to as guilt alleviators but I am only human.
The building was very attractive. It had a coffee shop which we often used when I packed a picnic but the weather didn’t permit outside consumption. The gardens were nice if somewhat basic, and the inside of the building was clean. On Christmas Carol night in 2018 & 2019, we must have appeared like “rent a crowd” as every member of the family attended, we sang loudly, laughed even louder became the hostesses for the other residents at supper making sure they had something yummy to eat and delighted in the fact that we had an experience that we would talk about with my parents for weeks to come as inevitably the conversation topics dwindle with age.
Thanks for the opportunity to share some good experiences with aged care.
Do you need to lodge a complaint? We have information on which government agency to contact, and how to explore legal support here: https://agedcarereformnow.com.au/resolving-complaints/where-to-make-an-aged-care-complaint/
Do you need support? OPAN provides free services to support older people and their representatives address issues related to Commonwealth-funded aged care services and informs people of their rights and responsibilities: 1800 700 600 or opan.com.au