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  • A charmed retirement
    Mon 03 Dec 2018

     

    Jenny and Trevor Dawson

     

    Jenny and Trevor Dawson were recently featured in The West Australian's West Weekend Magazine. Click here to read the article in full.

     

    Almost three years ago, Jenny and Trevor Dawson were like many baby boomer-age retirees. Their half-acre Australian dream family home in the Perth Hills was starting to seem a little too big with their two sons grown up and left home. The gardening was starting to become an increasingly burdensome chore.

    They decided that moving into a retirement village was their best option, and when they started exploring their options they knew they had to act fast.

    This is because both Jenny and Trevor are blind. 

    Jenny was born blind; doctors assuming a virus like rubella in utero to be the cause. Trevor was born prematurely, albeit with perfect vision, however he was exposed to excessive oxygen levels in a newborn incubator which blinded him from the age of three days old.

     “To get around, we need to memorise our neighbourhood which takes time and quite a lot of effort,” Jenny said. “So we decided that we needed to move to a retirement village while we have the cognitive function and energy to settle in properly.”

    The Dawson’s chose SwanCare Bentley Park, which is situated adjacent to Curtin University in Perth’s South East.

    With many independent living homes and three care facilities on one site, SwanCare ticked all the boxes.

    “We wanted somewhere that really didn’t require us to move again – ever.”  Jenny explains. “We didn’t want to end up in a situation where one of us is in a care facility in one suburb and one of us stays independent in another suburb.

    “At Bentley Park we know that, down the track, if one of us needs to go into care, we will only be a short walk away from each other.”

    In mid-2015, the Dawson’s put their family home on the market and four months later, they had moved into their new retirement apartment at SwanCare Bentley Park. 

    They settled in and quickly become part of their new community.

    Trevor is now a keen lawn bowls club member, while Jenny has become a valued member of the resident’s advisory committee, which provides a formal communication line between SwanCare’s management and residents.

    Jenny and Trevor have also started a vision impaired support group, providing practical tips and encouragement to the elderly SwanCare residents who might be struggling and feeling isolated due to their failing eyesight.  They have known another group member, Peter, for decades – he is also blind and lives around the corner from them at SwanCare Bentley Park.

     “We really feel blessed to be living here,” Jenny said. “Everyone looks out for us but they don’t make a fuss, which is lovely.”

    Trevor agrees.  “It’s great to live in a place where you can access all the services,” Trevor said.

    “Everything is here – there’s a grocery shop, a buggy service, beautiful meals, hairdresser, home care. You can also catch a bus to just about anywhere in Perth from within the village, which is great because we are always out and about.”

    While Jenny and Trevor feel fortunate to have found their ideal retirement lifestyle, the wider SwanCare community feel fortunate to have Jenny and Trevor around.

    “The Dawson’s bring so much to our community,” Graham Francis, SwanCare CEO, said. “As well as being friendly, familiar faces around the village, they have become our go-to consultants on how we can go about improving everyday life for our many vision-impaired residents.”

    Improvements introduced have included providing the village newsletter as an audio file option, making the new SwanCare website accessible, and presenting the vision-impaired group with a hands-on architectural model of Bentley Park’s future leisure centre during the resident consultation process.

    “It really is a whole new level of consideration when you start thinking about all the little things you can do to support those who are vision-impaired,” Graham said.

    The positive energy that Jenny and Trevor bring to SwanCare comes from their positive, humble, and often humorous approach to life.

    When asked what other retirement villages or aged care facilities can do to assist their vision-impaired residents, Jenny replies: “It’s the little things that make a big difference, like, when saying hello, say your name and identify yourself as a staff member.

    “But above all, if you’re not sure, the best thing to do is simply ask how you can help.”

    It seems that although Jenny and Trevor are grateful for the odd helping hand, mostly they go about unwittingly providing help to others by way of support, friendship, and a good belly laugh. 

    About Trevor and Jenny – a snapshot

    Married for 34 years, they met through Trevor’s work as a switchboard operator and telephonist at the then Commercial Bank of Australia.

    They went on to have two children who they are extremely proud of: Scott, an auto electrician and Chris, a Hercules aircraft pilot in the Australian Air Force.

     

     

  • SwanCare couple married for 72 years reunited after time apart
    Fri 09 Nov 2018

    The Osborne's are happy to be back together

     

     

    You really get used to being together after being married for 72 years.

    SwanCare is pleased to have assisted Beryl (93) and Ian Osborne (94) to continue living together as they always have – in a double room at SwanCare Tandara residential care facility – to the huge relief of the couple and their family.

    With the assistance of the SwanCare team, the Osbornes have been relocated together just a few hundred metres from the unit they have shared for more than 24 years.

    Prior to moving to SwanCare Tandara, Mrs Osborne was the main carer for her husband, who lives with dementia, in their independent living unit at SwanCare Bentley Park, with assistance with SwanCare’s home care service.

    With a recent decline in Mrs Osborne’s health, the task of caring for her husband was becoming increasingly difficult and, following a recent fall and a hospital admission, it was determined she too would now require additional assistance and could no longer live independently.

    SwanCare Chief Executive Graham Francis said that ensuring couples like the Osbornes are able to stay together is critical.

    “Relocating the Osbornes within SwanCare Bentley Park where they have lived for many years means they are familiar with SwanCare staff and their friends are nearby and can drop in to visit,” Mr Francis said. “Their new residence at SwanCare Tandara Residential Care means they share a room and can enjoy each other’s company.”

    While Mrs Osborne was recovering in hospital with her fractured wrist, Mr Osborne was in respite care and they missed each other terribly.

    Their Son, Mr Alan Osborne, is thrilled his parents will continue to live together and feels fortunate for the support of the team at SwanCare.

    “When I would pick dad up to visit mum in hospital, he would have all his belongings packed ready to go home. It was a very difficult time and they really missed one another. We were concerned at the thought of not finding them a place together with the care they need, but we are delighted with result,” Mr Osborne said.

     “The SwanCare at Home team have helped with various tasks at mum and dad’s house for many years. Having their help with the paperwork and assisting us to find a solution quickly has been a huge relief. Their compassion, and being familiar with mum and dad’s situation, is a great comfort for our family,” Mr Osborne concluded.

    SwanCare Tandara is part of WA’s largest integrated retirement and aged care campus – SwanCare Bentley Park – which offers a range of independent living options as well as three residential care facilities.

  • New menu arrives at SwanCare
    Tue 09 Oct 2018

     

    New Menu Arrives

    Stir-fried chicken fajitas followed by passionfruit pana-cotta, anyone? 

    SwanCare's new seasonal menu has arrived and includes old favourites, such as roasts and casseroles, as well as new dishes such as smoked salmon & basil quiche and spanakopita (Greek style veggie pie). 

    All meals are cooked fresh onsite at Bentley Park by a dedicated catering team led by Maggie Beer-trained Head Chef, Sathish Kumar.  

    “My goal is to give residents as much flavour as possible. I don’t want to serve them a similar product every day - it’s my passion to provide them with different experiences,” Sathish said.

    Click here to see the current weekly menus available.

    This menu is not only offered to those in residential care but is also available for delivery to those in the retirement village, at a very competitive price.  

    For enquiries or to place an order please contact our friendly food service attendant on 0426 225 061 or 6250 0126, between 6.00am – 2.00pm Monday to Friday.

     

  • A 'second home' for book lovers
    Thu 26 Jul 2018

    Three days a week, for the past 30 years, librarian Penny Felder has been helping the residents of SwanCare Bentley Park find just the right book they have been looking for.

    "We have a consistent bunch of regulars and I love that the library has become something of a social hub," says Felder.

    For many of the residents who are avid readers they library is "their second home," she says.

    To read full article, click here.

  • Measure in love
    Tue 24 Jul 2018

    Fifty-eight times a day. That's how often staff from a Perth based aged care provider feel they improve a resident's life. 

    The SwanCare team calculated the average figure after hosting collaborative workshops, facilitated by an external agency, to figure out how the small things add up.

    Staff from all areas of the organisation were asked to reflect on their personal and collective impact on residents and discussed the simple, everyday actions that make a difference to the lives of the residents and their families, such as a warm smile as the curtains are drawn in the morning or providing support with forms or paperwork.

    To read full article, click here.

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