Agnes reflects on life before and after respite care

We learned about Agnes de Prinse’s interesting, eventful life before she came to Heritage Gardens, and her experience in respite care and full-time care.

Agnes has a lilting Scottish accent and a direct, friendly manner that puts people at ease. She places value on respect and being listened to, as well as a consistent and genuine care experience – which she’s happy to have found at Heritage Gardens, in both respite care and full-time care.

An emigrant’s life

Born in bonnie Scotland in 1937, Agnes’ curiosity and fascination for distant lands was fueled by tales from her brother-in-law. She reminisces proudly of being the only one in school who could locate Australia on a map of the world!

Fulfilling her dreams, Agnes emigrated to Australia when she was 18 and met a Dutchman. She “didn’t muck around”, marrying her sweetheart and starting a family at 22.

True to her emigrant spirit, Agnes and her family, including two young boys, left Australia for Canada and lived there for many years. Agnes and her husband ran a country store working 14-hour days and wearing many hats as resident store owner from being the local postman, to filling cars with petrol and daily school bus runs.

Agnes and her family also lived further north in Ontario amid remote and stunning forests and lakes. With one channel on the TV, she counted herself lucky to have electricity. Wherever she lived in Canada, she was always happy when she found schools for her boys, enjoying their time on the frozen lake and skiing behind a snowmobile.

Returning to Australia, Agnes lived in Dromana and Merimbula before settling back in Melbourne.

Agnes’ care experience

Smiling at these happy memories – her life, her children, and her 60-year marriage – Agnes explains that she sadly lost her husband five years ago.

After experiencing some health issues, she honored her husband’s wish by seeking professional care. Agnes found that respite care was the ideal solution in determining which residential aged care was the best fit.

After trialing a few homes, she settled on Heritage Gardens because of its deep care for residents. Being a private person, Agnes values privacy and dignity.

“The key is to feel listened to and respected,” Agnes says. She also values good communication between staff as it helps provide a more consistent care experience.

She understands the demands on staff and the great job they do each day. “It’s not an easy job working with people like us,” Agnes says with a wry smile.

Respite Care at Heritage

At Heritage Care, we care for our residents as unique individuals with rich and interesting lives, as we learned from talking to Agnes.

We understand that your loved one is precious. We believe that flexible respite care could be the perfect solution in addressing short-term care requirements or evaluating the home as a potential option for full-time care.

Regardless of the length of stay, your loved one will continue to receive high-quality care and attention from our qualified nurses and carers and help them feel at home.

Learn more about Respite Care at Heritage

Could your loved one benefit from Respite Care

Are red flags surfacing around how your parent or loved one is living? If in-home care and support services can no longer keep a loved one safe, professional care around the clock is available to ensure they continue living a quality, engaged and fulfilling life.

If you say yes to one or any of these five warning signs listed below, consider respite care to witness a day-in-the life care in a residential aged care home.

Five warning signs:

  • Increasing forgetfulness
  • Major health concerns
  • Drastic change in weight
  • Poor personal hygiene or housekeeping
  • Falls and re-occurring bruises

It isn’t easy to pinpoint the exact time your loved one should transition to an aged care home. A respite or short-term stay can provide you with the answer.

The last thing you want to do is feel pressured to choose an aged care home while in “crisis mode” – like after a hospital visit, during an illness, or before a lease is up.

Take the next step to considering residential care options.