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Home is where you can be yourself

10th January 2019

When doctors at the Royal Melbourne Hospital told Peter Cameron it was time for his wife to move into a residential aged care residence, he didn’t hesitate to make the decision to go with her.

Upon arriving at Colton Close, an aged care residence run by leading Victorian aged care provider Benetas, Peter knew he had made the right decision.

“I didn’t see the point of going back home by myself,” he said.

“And bringing Fay back home wasn’t an option. So when the doctors asked what I wanted to do, I said I may as well go with her.”

Peter’s wife Fay was diagnosed with Dementia and the disease has gradually become more and more difficult for Peter to manage on his own.

“Here we have the support and help from staff who understand dementia,” he said. “They look after Fay extremely well, and it was only a matter of time before I would also need the care.”

“I feel so fortunate to have listened to the doctor’s recommendation of Colton Close. The atmosphere here is really friendly and supportive. It doesn’t feel like a hospital like a lot of places do, it feels like a home.”

Since moving to Colton Close in September 2017, Peter has been able to enjoy every day life with his wife Fay as well as develop new friendships with other residents.

“The staff here are wonderful. They take the time to get to know you, and you soon develop a connection that feels more like a family.”

“Some of the staff even join in our regular game of dominoes, or watch with other residents. We now have quite an audience when we play.”

The most important aspect of living at Colton Close, for Peter, is the level and quality of care that the staff provide for his wife.

“Not everyone understands dementia and it’s great to be surrounded by dedicated people who provide Fay and myself with the support we need,” Peter said.

With plenty of daily activities for residents, Peter keeps busy and actively encourages his fellow residents to join in.

With a natural gift for socialising and leadership, Peter has become a steady and dependable confidant and friend to many of the residents. He is often seeking out those who haven’t been seen in the dining room or recreation room and taking the time to just sit with them and have a chat.

“One of the other residents didn’t like to socialise much,” he said.

“So I took the time to visit him in his room and have a natter with him.”

“Now he joins in on our regular games of dominoes and I drag him along to all the resident meetings. He doesn’t speak very well but understands everything and loves to just sit and listen to us talk away.”

Peter has no regrets about making the decision to move into Benetas Colton Close. With the care his wife receives and the friendships that have been forged, he knows he made the right decision.