The power of humour
However, respite care isn’t just important for Australia’s senior citizens. For example, at 68 years of age, Denise Toshack is considerably younger than most of her neighbours at Aveo Freedom Aged Care in Morayfield, in Brisbane.
It’s clear the retired Commonwealth Bank employee, originally from Grafton in northern New South Wales, has a strong sense of humour, joking about giving nurses a fright in her electric wheelchair.
Ms Toshack has an autoimmune disease that is steadily progressing, and recently cost her both legs and a number of her fingers.
“It’s an awful thing, but you’ve got to allow yourself to have a laugh about it. What’s the point in being an old crank and whinging? No-one will want to come and see you,” she laughs.
“I love a good joke, I’ve been in the hospital so many times in the last year, and I’ve got my favourite nurses. The girls are all quite young and we have a little chat when they come in. We have a good laugh.”
Ms Toshack doesn’t have any local family members who can help while she’s recovering from surgery, so like Mr Layton, she chose to spend some time in respite accommodation at Aveo Freedom Aged Care.
“I can’t do anything for myself, so this is ideal. I just had the fingers taken off my right hand. I’m right-handed, so things have been tough, but the girls are great. They help me do things like going to the toilet. Just little things.”
Meantime, it hasn’t diminished her social life one bit. She has two local friends, who she says drop in “all the time”. She is also going out tonight, and tomorrow night.
“I’m doing as much as I can,” she says cheerily.
Original story was published on heraldsun.com.au
Click below to learn more about respite care at Aveo.