After 59 years of marriage, Heather and Des have plenty of memories to look back on. The parents of three love to reminisce about times gone by and do so from the comfort of their Pooraka home. They’ve been here for 14 years and continue to live independently thanks to assistance from Helping Hand.
At first, 82-year old Heather took some convincing. She is a fiercely independent woman but agreed when Des ran into health issues. “I’d never had anybody help me ever with anything,” she says. “I resisted this in the first place and my daughter said to me, Mother, you are going to have help”. She pauses. “We’ve always lived in a big house. I couldn’t live where I couldn’t have trees and things around me.”
After more than a year of assistance, Heather and Des don’t know what they’d do without them. They have a particular soft spot for Glen, a Carer with tattoos and big muscles. On Thursdays, he takes Des on outings. “We go out for lunch and we went to see the HMS clipper ship. He walks behind me ready to catch me if I fall over.” Glen and Des are interested in cars and electronics. “They talk together, which is wonderful,” Heather says. “Boys time.” This allows Des to not only get out and about, but also allows Heather to keep up her craft and have a rest from caring.
Carer Christine helps Heather with household chores. “She’s just a treasure and I tell her every time she comes.… I’ve got arthritic knees and I can’t get down anymore and do the skirting boards. I think of them as friends and without them, I don’t know what we’d do.” Des points to freshly cleaned venetian blinds. “They go into detail with the actual cleaning of the house.”
Heather particularly loves shopping trips with Catherine. “We have a lot of laughs when we go shopping. I try to make her laugh, and we have a wonderful time with them. I don’t know how we ever would have got on without Helping Hand. They are brilliant.”
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