An uplifting dementia story…This should be the future of aged and dementia care in Ausralia.
Rose Sevitt's husband Lex (Alex) was a practicing psychologist up until 6 years ago.
Lex specialised in helping children with ADD. Suddenly Lex started to forget where he parked his car and he had to give up driving.
He soon forgot how to count backward, and he could not remember things. Rose remembers the decline as slow, but it was happening. She realised that he could not be left home alone and hired the help of a full-time carer whilst she worked. Lex battled with the stairs and the family had to look into full-time care options.
This led them to a nursing home which Rose calls an 'institution.'
Rose and Alex's two children believe that Alex would be dead if he were still at the nursing home where he was prior to moving into one of the Group Homes Australia's homes.
Rose and her children are incredibly grateful.
Rose says: "The care is wonderful. It is a pleasure to walk into the home. It smells and looks beautiful. The residents are well loved and cared for by the homemakers. They take them on a bus for amazing outings, to the beach, for barbeques, to museums, to Vaucluse house, for meals."
Rose visits every night at meal times to help feed Lex as his hands shake.
Rose adds: "The food itself is fabulous, placemats are set at the table, the table is set beautifully. Nothing is spared. Great quality, excellent cooked meals are given to the residents. I know that if for some reason, I cannot go that the carers will give Lex the attention he needs."
Rose remembers that meal times at the previous aged care institution were like a mad asylum. She was worried about hygiene and would not even drink a coffee there. At Group Homes Australia, family members are offered drinks and meals. Rose knows that it's so clean and she is happy to share a meal or drink with her husband.
Rose used to feel depressed every time she visited Lex at the previous aged care home.
Rose states: "The previous aged care home was an institution with 100 people who were institutionalised. It's a very bad environment. People go quickly that way."
"Lex has six other residents in the home with him. They are made to feel that they are in their own home. They can water the plants, bake… they can set their own routines. I cannot get over the display of love."
"My children say to me:' Mum, we don't know how you got him in there, but you have made all of our lives great as we know he is looked after and loved'."
Rose's son visits every Wednesday and plays guitar and sings with the residents.
Rose exclaims: "That place becomes alive. A 94-year-old resident dances to the music. The minute the music plats the residents get up and dance."