Daughterly Care Blog

New Northern Beaches Hospital opens

Hello Care Workers and Clients,

The BRAND NEW Northern Beaches hospital at Frenchs Forest opens at 7am on Tuesday, 30 October 2018. You need to read the letter below in case you have to manage an emergency or take a client to the hospital or visit a client already in hospital.

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Northern Beaches Hospital
105 Frenchs Forest Road (West), Frenchs Forest NSW 2086

Here is a link on all the different ways you can get to the new Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest.

The parking instructions for the New Hospital are:

“Paid parking is available in the hospital car park accessible via Frenchs Forest Road. Patient and visitor parking is located on ground level up to level 7. Spaces opposite the lifts on every level are allocated for disabled parking.”

See letter from the Health Department with all the details below.

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When it comes to dementia …

(By Frank Featherstone – the husband of one of our clients)

No means no – but it ain’t necessarily so…

Once upon a time it was easy for a husband to lead his lady up the garden path and she’d go with alacrity. But like many things now it would seem that the “No” word is used more often and in an involuntary way to resist doing the things that were once dear to her heart – like gardening for instance.

So, do you take that refusal as final?

It doesn’t make sense because it would get her out of that perhaps too-comfortable chair for needed exercise; the blooming of the flowers would delight her and neighbours would get more than a lovely bunch of coconuts. But “No”, again, ‘You do it!”, is the reply.

So what do you do?

Remembering the old adage: “Faint heart ne’er won fair lady” you take a different tack.

One of the ladies in our Narrabeen retirement village is a professional gardener who works at Flower Power. She accepted the brief to be both carer and gardener several hours a month, and create what she calls a “show garden “.

The result in springtime is a delightfully varied garden and you can see the pleasure in Trish’s eyes as she takes ownership. In actual fact Trish might only do a bit of weeding and pruning but both of us most days enjoy stepping out onto the patio and appreciating “Our garden”.

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The study option

Like all lovers you seek to be a better one. When I found out that in home care Approved Provider Daughterly Care Community Services ran a course for their Caregivers in the Montessori method of helping to support people with a dementia diagnosis I signed up for the three-stage program eager for tips on how to do things better. It was obvious that Trish’s panic attacks and depression were more than she could bear.

I found that there were things I could do to make her happier and that would involve me changing my way of thinking – while retaining it – and learning the do’s and don’ts of dementia. You can’t always win of course – for always read sometimes – but when you succeed there’s an un-imagined surprise and happiness that takes you through to the next day.

Below is one of the moments. (This photograph taken by Daughterly Care carer, Annie P, who also prepared our meal).

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Learn more about how Daughterly Care uses the Montessori Method when supporting a Loved One.

Learn more about Daughterly Care’s Joyful Living Approach by enabling meaningful and purposeful activities likes gardening.

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Frank Featherstone

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It’s hard for a husband but worse for a wife

(By Frank Featherstone – the husband of one of our clients)

Suddenly you’re as old as the calendar says you are. And you’re starting to feel it. You’re no longer a threat to tennis champion, Federer, and young women offer you a seat in the bus. But much worse is the realisation that things aren’t the same at home.

Now, let me talk personally. Trish, my wife of 54 years, over the last 12 months has developed many of the signs of dementia.

And this is the indefatigable wife who organised me, six children, played tennis too, sang with Sydney’s Philharmonia Choir as well as in the local church’s one every Sunday. Trish was also a better driver than me but no matter, that helped me to catch up with sleep in the lay-back passenger’s seat.

Suddenly the dementia thing

I think it was a series of painful operations that kicked the dementia off but suddenly Trish could no longer find her way around the kitchen. Trish completely lost her desire to sing, spin, knit and sew and didn’t want to leave the house. Trish lost her will to lap local pools and didn’t want to walk whereas in 1990 she trudged in snow on the Great Wall of China.

Then the Polio came back as The Polio Syndrome.

Now we fight the mobility battle together. Fortunately Trish can still ride a battery-operated invalid scooter with me “riding shotgun” alongside.

Being a typical male, albeit, 82, I soon found that doing everything: the cooking, washing, vacuuming, answering the ‘phone and just being on call was a bit too much although my two lovely (in every sense) local daughters did what ever they could, whenever they could subject to the needs of their own three-children families. I started to investigate part-time help but was shocked by the hourly rate.

Organising the hours

Suddenly I developed pneumonia, almost died from diabetes “lows” and other medical complications.

There was no alternative was there?

Mona Vale Hospital did an ACAT Assessment which meant I could access some free carer respite paid for by the Government. I booked Daughterly Care for three-hourly shifts and so far have experienced the different caring natures and individual talents of three different ladies. One even makes capsicum soup!

Perhaps I can continue this story in Kate Lambert’s blog next time and let you know my wife’s reaction to other women coming in to our home? Also I can pass on a few tips about Dementia not being as bad as some people say it is.

dementia frontotemporal vascualr lewy body parkinsons alzheimers disease

Frank Featherstone

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