Rosemarie’s first interaction with Seasons is one familiar to a lot of families who’ve started looking into aged care options for their ageing loved ones.
“My husband and I came and had a look here (Seasons Mango Hill) around 2013 or 2014 because we knew that my mum and dad were getting to that point,” says Rosemarie.
“We were really impressed with everything, but Mum and Dad were very much ‘No, we’re staying in our own home. This is where we’re going to die’. But their health was declining and because Mum was Dad’s carer, with her declining health she really just could not look after Dad but they struggled on for quite a while.”
And like many families, it was a health crisis that led to Rosemarie’s parents Terry and Therese moving into Seasons.
“At the end of 2015, Mum really was not well at all and Dad ended up in hospital. The doctors at the hospital just said to him ‘You’re not going home. Your family need to organise something or we’re going to put you into residential aged care’.
“We knew Mum and Dad wanted to stay together and that Mum, even though her health wasn’t good, wasn’t a candidate for residential aged care. So, we came back to Seasons.
“I rang the Seasons community consultant as we were beside ourselves not knowing what we were going to do. I told her what had happened and she said leave it with her. Within two weeks, we had the okay from Seasons that they would be able to move in here.”
Unfortunately, Terry passed away seven months after moving in. By this time Rosemarie’s Mother-in-Law Dot was also getting to the stage of needing care so she spent a lot of time visiting Therese and even stayed over to get a feel for the community.
“Dot really loved it here, but she wasn’t quite ready to move in. Sadly, we were thinking Mum was going to have quite a few more years here, but I think she really missed Dad and she passed away just six months later.”
At Therese’s funeral, another health emergency greeted the family.
“At Mum’s funeral Dot had a heart attack and they then found that she had bowel cancer. So that sort of pushed the issue forward.”
In the midst of all of this, Rosemarie, who was on extended leave from her position as a school principal and thinking of retiring from the education department, saw the Seasons Community Manager position advertised.
“I was really impressed with the care that Mum and Dad had received and with the community. So I thought, you know what, I’ll put in an application see how it goes.”
Rosemarie ended up being offered the position of Seasons Mango Hill Community Manager and started the role in October 2017, the same month that Dot moved in.
She believes her experiences with her own family, as well as her career in education, has helped guide her in the role.
“It all comes down to the residents and communication and treating people with respect and with dignity. Bernie (Care Services Manager) and I get on very well and we’ve really worked hard to build a sense of teamwork – that Mango Hill is one family and we’re all here to look after our residents.
“It’s about believing family is of fundamental importance and actively engaging them in all aspects of our services. Families appreciate the way their loved ones are treated with dignity and respect; that they get the care they need and that it is a lovely community to be a part of.”
Dot passed away in her home at Seasons in February and Rosemarie says that this experience of palliative care for both her mum and mother-in-law was another reason they were happy with their decision to choose Seasons.
“Mum wanted to be here at Seasons to pass away and one of the things Dot really liked about Seasons was that availability of palliative care. It was a beautiful, peaceful death for both of them. And that’s all you could ask for any of your loved ones, with lots of care and lots of support in place.”