The dictionary defines respite as “a pause or rest from something difficult” – which is exactly what carers and dependents need from time to time. SwanCare Waminda offers a room within the permanent care area just for this purpose – a short-term respite stay. The space can be used for people who live inside or outside of the village and provides carers with a much needed break, and peace of mind that their loved one will be in great hands.
Sometimes there can be a stigma on reaching out for respite, but we don’t believe there should be.
“Carers often put off their holidays, appointments, and even surgery to suit their dependant,” says SwanCare’s Resident Support Coordinator. “It is very important for the carer’s physical and mental health, that they are able to get away or have some down time without the stress that comes with being a carer. Respite also gives an insight into permanent care and usually takes away any fears to do with aged care facilities – it is actually a nice place to be.”
The respite resident is offered a chance to get involved in various activities and to meet and chat to many new faces. Depending on their condition, they are welcome to come and go with family members too – just as long as they’re back for medication times.
Judith (Judy) and William (Bill) Mackintosh have recently utilised SwanCare’s respite service and highly recommend the experience.
Judy and Bill have lived an amazing life raising three wonderful daughters, as well as a lifetime of worldly travels. Now their age has caught up with them it makes it tough to travel, and with a line in the sand Bill is now no longer able to enjoy overseas travel.
Judy and Bill moved into their SwanCare home in 2006 after being on a wait list for 10 years! “We were very particular about which home we wanted – two bedrooms, east facing – so we were happy to wait as long as it took” said Bill. “My Mother, Father, and two Aunties lived at SwanCare long before we lived here, and we saw first-hand how good the facilities were – it only seemed natural to live here ourselves when the time came,” Judy said.
Judy recently booked a trip away and was unsure if Bill would remember to do everything he needed as he was quite sick.
“Respite allows me peace of mind while I’m away, knowing Bill will have all of his medications, night-time care if it is needed, three delicious meals per day, and that he is happy!” said Judy.
Bill agrees. “The meals are really nice, we even get them delivered to our home when we have a particularly busy week socially,” Bill said. “I actually look forward to going into respite as I know Judy enjoys going on holidays and it’s a change of scenery for me – I enjoy the bingo, the singalongs, and the outings my daughters take me on. This time one of the outings was Bunnings, my favourite shop!”
When Bill was well enough he even went back home to water his plants and check phone messages.
“SwanCare Waminda staff are very good and they asked all sorts of questions about diet, medications, and what kind of care he required before I left – they put me at ease,” Judy said. “Waminda provided very good communication to my daughters while I was away too, which was fantastic.
“They also welcomed and worked well with doctors from outside of the facility to continue care of Bill after having issues post-surgery.
“Bill is taking a lot of medications at the moment and at Waminda they started him on Webster packs, we haven’t looked back since and continue to use this service. You can actually learn a thing or two to help while your loved one is in care,” Judy said.
Judy and Bill are at ease with the idea of respite, as they saw how helpful it was with Judy’s Mother and Father many years ago - a large age gap saw her Father go into care long before her Mother, but they were able to walk down the road and visit every day. “You can continue your previous life, just with a bit of help” said Bill.
“Nursing homes have come a long way since my parents were in one. Now they feel more homely, friendly, and staff are more personalized. All you need to do is factor respite care for your loved one into your holiday budget and book it well in advance – it’s as easy as that,” Judy said.
“We love living on a site that offers us both a place to call home and a place to go if respite or higher care when it is eventually needed.
“Hats off to SwanCare, we’re very happy here.”
“I’d like to send a special acknowledgement to Leanne and Mechy for always being there to answer any questions we have about care – we would be lost without you all.”
– Judy and Bill Mackintosh