Caring for a loved one with failing health at home can be a stressful and exhausting experience.
Busselton resident Jenny Seia knows only too well how difficult the journey can be. When she was offered respite services at Capecare for her husband Clem, who was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s in 2017, she also discovered some breathing space for herself.
“Our case worker recommended taking it one day at a time when Clem first started day visits to Capecare, as we weren’t sure how he would cope with the change,” she said. “But he loved it from day one, it’s been just marvellous.”
Clem, who is 84, now attends Capecare’s Social Centre three days a week and stays overnight in the Cottage Respite three nights a week, which allows Jenny to get things done around the house and have a well-earned rest.
“They can entertain him better than me and he has likeminded people there. The staff look after him so well and I know he’s in great hands,” she said.
“Without the Capecare staff I don’t know how I would cope. They’re so helpful. I took him there one day and he was in a foul mood but by the time he came home he was happy. They’ve helped not just Clem but me too.”
Jenny and Clem have been married for 47 years and have six children. She’s seen Clem’s mental condition deteriorate gradually and being an active man presents challenges for her in keeping him busy but safe. He’s no longer able to go on much-loved bike rides as he can end up far away from home, unable to find his way back.
“It helps me a lot being able to have days where Clem goes to the Social Centre, I can do things in the house without needing to entertain him. It helps my sanity. When he’s home I don’t get much done. I can put the TV on but it only works for so long. We often drive around for a couple of hours just to keep him occupied.”
Jenny recounted Clem returning from a recent Capecare, excited that there were some guys visiting who provided great company for him. ”It makes me smile because he’s happy there. When he now says I’m going home, he means Capecare.”
Capecare’s Cottage Respite recently reopened after being temporarily closed because of COVID aged care home restrictions. Community members like Clem can stay for 1 night to two weeks depending on their circumstances. From January Cottage Respite will be available seven days a week.
Cottage Respite rooms provide an accessible bedroom and ensuite bathroom, and 24-hour care by trained staff.
Clients using the Cottage Respite service also have access to the Capecare Social Centre which is open Monday to Friday.
Both services are co-located at Capecare’s Busselton facility on Ray Avenue and available to local seniors and people living with a disability who have an assessed need and meet the required criteria.
“We’ve seen great benefits for people who don’t have the opportunity to interact with a lot of people when they’re at home,” Capecare Home and Community Manager Rachel Meares said.
“The Social Centre offers seniors the opportunity to socialise and connect and take part in an array of activities, events and outings, as well as offering respite to carers supporting a loved one at home.
Transport is available to and from the centre.
For more information, contact Rachel Meares on 9750 2097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.