John and Margarete’s respite story thanks to Estia Health

John enjoys his respite at Estia Health, Dandenong.

John and Margarete have been married for over 50 years and had never spent a night apart, so making the decision to put John in respite was a very difficult one.

Margarete has been looking after John now as his carer for many years as he has asbestosis, so she sees his care as totally her responsibility.

But when Margarete’s painful hip got to be too much for her, she needed to go into hospital to have a total hip replacement and after many discussions, they decided together that it would be best for John to go into respite whilst she was in hospital and recovering. They began looking for a place and found Estia Health Dandenong and were thrilled.

From the moment John and Margarete contacted the home, they immediately felt comfortable.

John was offered a wheelchair to make getting around the home easier for him which he appreciated and then they were both given a tour of the home, including visiting all of the available respite rooms.

Margarete admits that she felt very emotional and that despite how kind Jenny was, she was still worried.

Her fears were all put to bed though when John checked in. He immediately let Margarete know that the staff were wonderful and made him feel so welcome. He gave her daily phone updates about how fantastic the meals were and that the staff were incredibly caring. They checked on him regularly making sure that he was getting everything that he needed.

Because Margarete could only call John and not visit him, the staff went to great lengths to make John feel at home. Staff who were not even on duty the day he was due to leave came in to say goodbye to him on the day he left, and many made a point of saying goodbye to him and telling him that he was a joy to have in the home.

Both Margarete and John now feel that it is a very viable and happy place for John to go if the need arises again. Margarete wanted to emphasise how important she felt it was to go and have a look first.

“Looking first was vital, you really need to get a feel for the place, we could instantly tell the staff were friendly, kind and accommodating. We felt right at home immediately, and although that first visit was hard, we knew we were doing the right thing.

“Thank you so much Estia Health for helping us. I felt so much better when John came home because he felt so

looked after and cared for.“