We would like to introduce you to Louisa, a repeat respite guest at Freedom by Aveo and, in a past life, a Registered Nurse with experience across health care and aged care.
We spoke to Louisa about her respite stay at Freedom Aged Care Redland Bay, an experience she had plenty to say about.
Could you start by sharing a little bit about yourself and your family?
“Well, I’m 83yrs old next month and have two grown up daughters, one in Queensland and one in Melbourne. I’m also a grandmother to seven, and a great grandmother to six. I currently reside in Melbourne, but grew up in Chelsea Bayside in Victoria.”
What did you do prior to retirement?
“I became a Registered Nurse at the age of 24, where I started working in the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital. I completed nursing training with all the old soldiers, like what the Greenslopes Hospital in Brisbane use to be. I then went on to work at what was the Queen Victoria Hospital, as a midwife, for many years. In 1972, I was headhunted for a position as Director of Nursing in the private sector of nursing homes. Sometime later I changed to the public system in the Peninsular of Aged Care. I then went on to work at Monash as the After-hours Coordinator, where I finally retired at 79 years. Now I enjoy a quieter life of special luncheons at the Bentley Club with speakers that I love to listen too.”
Do any of your family members work in healthcare?
“My family are also Registered Nurses, doctors and specialists, which works well - they keep an eye on me!”
What caused you to consider a respite stay?
“Well, I knew I wanted to come and see my family who are living in Redland Bay and the Brisbane region - I have new great-grand babies! I did stay once before in 2020, but I now know that I need some assistance and can’t stay with my family. I needed somewhere where I could get the support I need, and after my first stay, there was no question about where I would like to be again!”
How did you decide that Freedom by Aveo was the best option for respite care?
“Back in 2019, after a few procedures and rehab, I was referred by Cabrini Brighton Hospital, who suggested that I go to Aveo Kingston Green in Cheltenham for a respite stay. It was a great experience, so when I decided I wanted to come to Brisbane, I got in contact with Paula from the Aveo industry team. She did everything to make it work for me.”
What convinced you that Freedom Redland Bay by Aveo was the right community for a respite stay?
“Firstly, the mix of staff. Paula managed everything I needed from start to finish. My onsite Clinical Case Manager checked all my care plans to ensure everything was correct. All the staff, particularly the care staff, particularly the enrolled nurses and registered nurses, were all very knowledgeable. After my first stay in 2020, I felt very safe and reassured that the care team fully understood what is needed and required. It has the right mix of staff to support you, they all do such a great job.”
When you first stayed at Freedom Redland Bay by Aveo, how did staff make you feel welcome?
“Everything was in place. They welcome you, take you down to your unit, and show you everything while explaining where and what is there for you. They are very informative, and they make you feel safe and welcome. Nothing is ever too much bother - they even come and inform you of events and invite you in case you missed it!”
What kind of care and support do you receive from staff? Are there any staff that you would like to recognise?
“The staff offered so much assistance and support. With my sore back, they helped me with showering, offered me heat packs, organised additional scripts of medication with the doctor. They are so attentive and nothing is too much. I’d really like to recognise my Clinical Case Manager and the Registered Nurses – they made my stay excellent.”
Did you get involved in community events, activities or get-togethers during your stay?
“I did enjoy some activities, even though I had some back issues and was visiting with my family most days. I did go to a 100th Birthday Celebration, a High Tea in the Queenslander, and enjoyed daily meals in the dining room. Staff always made me feel welcome and ensured I was invited and involved in all events when I could. Although I couldn’t sit for long at the 100th Birthday Celebration - my back was giving me grief and I had to return to my unit - the staff brought me more food. I never asked for it, they just do it – it’s the small things like that.”
Would you recommend Freedom Redland Bay by Aveo to your friends and family? And why?
“Absolutely, without a doubt. There’s also an amazing chef at Freedom Redland Bay by Aveo who never cooks the same things twice. The food is amazing, very good with variety and ensures everyone’s dietary requirements are met. Everything is superb, so fresh and delicious. I am a diabetic, and the food is so amazing that I cannot express this enough. The chef is a diamond!”
For someone that might be unsure about respite at Freedom by Aveo, what advice would you give them if they came to you?
“I would ask them how they manage – it’s important to get all their Government funding sorted. During my first hospital stay, a Freedom by Aveo nurse came to me at hospital and completed an assessment with me to ensure they knew as much as possible about my care needs. They will work with you to formulate what your care plan will look like so you have the support you need. But even though you they give you a care plan, they encourage you to do as much as possible, but you know they will be there when you need them. Even if it’s just for safety – they are there.”
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