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Embracing a new life in an aged care community: Gloria's story

Tags: Residential Aged Care

Sylvia and Gloria sewing team! At Anam Cara Aged Care Home.

Sylvia (left) with her BFF Gloria. Anam Cara's sewing team!

Sylvia Thompson’s life turned upside-down when an avalanche of events drove her into depression. Her daughter Nikki suffers from health issues and could no longer care for her mother.

It was not easy to convince Sylvia to move to residential age care, but Nikki’s caring touch changed Sylvia’s story.

Sylvia is one of our ambassadors at Anam Cara. She was very depressed and lonely and did not want to come into care. She’s now leading the sewing Master group and is also part of the resident advisory committee!

– Silvia Holl, Manager at Anam Cara Aged Care Community.

Gloria brought her cat to Anam Cara Aged Care community - 2024

 Testimonial from Sylvia's daughter

 Mum was so worried about moving into residential care and did not think she needed that extra support. It came about early for her. She got diagnosed with early dementia, her marriage ended, she had to stop driving, and so she came to live with me for a while.

I live by myself, with health issues, and I was away from home during work hours. Mum was unsteady on her feet and it worried me and she also seemed to be lonely and getting depressed in her room with only Candy, her cat, as company.

She tried a stint with Steve, my brother, and that was a disaster.

I talked to mum and explained she needed some independence away from her children but also with the care of people who would be there for her when she needed assistance. I explained the wonderful companionship that may arise from having some other wonderful female companions around.

Gloria at her aged care home in Anam Cara - 2024

I also mentioned we would make her room suit her personality and that we would secure somewhere that would accept Candy the cat. I also told her it's what you make it now, we all have our turn at life and there is no 'dress rehearsal' time to make it a good time!

I was lucky that mum did know it was time to look at options.

When we went to Anam Cara, everybody was so delightful. We were received with so much love and understanding, they agreed to our changes in mum's room and to Candy the cat, and then it just fell into place. I reassured mum it would be a good move.

Some of mum's story:

Mum did not have any formal training in sewing or interior flare or design. She was a natural but did work hard to perfect her craft. If a job is worth doing, do it well... My mum used to make a majority of my fashion clothes in my teens, and I always look fantastic. A very dear friend of the family once said to mum 'you should have been an interior designer, you have such a flair for style and colours...’ That's my mum.

Mum also turned her hand to knitting and even though she did not take to it, she made me some beautiful jumpers. She also decided to take her hand to painting and did some beautiful acrylic oil paintings that still are on my walls with such pride today (and even mum's 1st Grandson has earmarked the one he wants).

My mum was never a gardener, but she moved into Anam Cara aged care community and transformed her place of peace and tranquillity into a place of rest and happiness.

I am extremely happy with how she has embraced her life and how she feels so proud to be a part of the wonderful, supportful aged care team.... and that is Anam Cara. I could not be happier and more relieved that my mum is happy and enjoying her life, and she also feels very valued and part of a bigger community where she can give back.

Thank you Anam Cara for looking after my Mother and I cherish that.