Why keen gardeners Jack and Heather put down roots at Westhaven
When the time came for Jack and Heather Le Griffon to move into residential care, Baptcare Westhaven Community in Footscray emerged as the obvious choice.
Moving from their home in Colac, in regional Victoria, was always going to be a significant change for Jack and Heather. “It was a huge decision, but we knew we couldn’t stay at home. We had a two-storey house with a big garden, which was too much for us to maintain,” says Jack.
Recognising that it was becoming increasingly difficult for Jack and Heather to manage independently, their son Lindon took them to see some residential aged care communities. “It was about giving mum and dad the options, so that they could make the decision,” says Lindon.
After seeing communities in Colac and Melbourne, Jack and Heather found that Westhaven was the place that felt most like home. “We were already familiar with Westhaven because Lindon [currently Baptcare’s Divisional Manager Residential Services] worked here for many years, and in fact we came to the opening of Westhaven,” says Heather.
This familiarity helped ease their transition into residential care. “We initially came for a week as a [respite] trial and found it very comfortable. We had our own space, with adjacent rooms, and we could come and go to the local shops as we liked,” says Jack. As keen gardeners, they were also impressed by the large gardens at Westhaven. “It’s a wonderful garden setting, which we added to with a lot of our own pot plants from home.”
Staff who care in more ways than one
Having now lived at Westhaven for six months, Jack and Heather say that they have been put at ease and made to feel welcome. “The staff here are marvellous. They always give you their full attention and go out of their way to make sure you’re comfortable,” says Heather.
For Lindon, this was an important consideration. “Because I know the Westhaven staff and the Baptcare values they uphold, I know that they treat people in accordance with mum and dad’s own values. They are caring people who make life for everyone here the best they can.”
A place that takes care of everything
Having a wide range of services available on-site is one of the major benefits of living at Westhaven, according to Heather. “There is a hairdresser here, and we can see the podiatrist or physiotherapist when they visit. All the meals are prepared for us, and everything is washed and cleaned every day, so life is made easy in that respect.”
This is also reassuring for family members, says Lindon. “There is an enormous peace of mind for a family when your parent moves to a place like Westhaven. Knowing that they’re safe and comfortable, and not having to worry about their meals or medications, is so reassuring.”