“We looked at retirement villages all up and down the coast,’ says Harold’s daughter, Michelle. “Dad being Catholic, we looked at two Catholic ones, so St Vincent’s here and the one at Ashmore.”
“Mum and Dad sort of indicated that they liked the sound of St Vincent’s here because it had the facilities and when the time comes, the extra care (on site aged care).. And Southport here is so close to everything they need.”
While they had been living at the villa for nearly 18 months, it was only just after a year that Harold’s wife, tragically passed away.
“I usually try to pop in when I can and on weekends as well. And now since Mum passing away in July, the care package side of things has been great as Dad has Alzheimer’s. We had to make sure Dad had the right care in place so that he can remain living independently.”
On top of the stress of losing his wife, Harold had to get used to the idea of strangers helping him out at home which would be difficult for anyone.
“I was a bit iffy about it because all my life I’ve cared for myself and now I’m just not used to that sort of thing,” says Harold.
Recently Harold had his home care package upgraded to be able to provide the extra support he needed to stay at home. While it’s meant more adjustment from more regular visits from St Vincent’s people, it’s also meant Harold still remains independent. Not only that, but it’s been peace of mind for Michelle and the extended family.