All We Do Is Care

The above heading is the logo for one of the ‘assisted living’ facilities on the mid north coast.

Here’s my experience…..

When my good friend went searching for an assisted living facility for her 83-year old Mum she was relieved when, with no money to buy a unit she managed to secure one of only two rental units in a facility that was close enough for my friend to visit regularly. Another huge advantage was that it allowed pets and so there was no need for any traumatic conversation concerning what to do with her mum’s cat. She believed that this would be the final residence for her mum, who would see out her days in comfort.

A couple of months before Christmas my friend received an eviction notice warning her that the facility had decided to sell the two rental units and that her mum  would either have to move out or buy the unit. As work was to begin on the refurbishment, my friend began frantically searching for alternative accommodation. She managed to find a unit but sadly they didn’t allow pets and the beloved cat was put down.

It was probably more stressful for the other rental tenant – an elderly gentleman, who was in a long-term relationship with a lady at the facility and had become her carer. This lady owned her unit and, while it might seem like a perfect solution for him to simply move in with her, apparently that solution was deemed inappropriate. So, just before Christmas, and with no family to help, he too was forced to relocate.

Also in his eighties, he managed to secure a rental unit in Taree and, to his credit, arranged the removal of his belongings while continuing to provide care for his lady friend, driving the half hour trip to and from the facility each day.

It came as no surprise to many, when not long afterwards, his partner was found slumped over in her unit and was consequently moved to a nursing home where she died some months later.

Of course, no one can know whether the separation led to this lady’s demise nor it seems were any laws broken and the facility was within its rights to evict the two rental tenants.

But with advertising like, “We will continue to do what we do best – care for our residents” the statement surely becomes a joke.

At the time, I wrote to the local paper as well as our local MPs regarding this incident but neither was interested in pursuing it. In any case, the gentleman concerned was not in favour of making a fuss.

Here’s hoping that the aged care royal commission will be more successful. God forbid that our elders should ever be treated in such a manner for the sake of profit.





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