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Here I am free to play

Tony is king of the table at Palm Lake Care Bargara

Antonio Fratangelo (or ‘Tony’ as he’s more well known) has proved himself a gun on the popular Palm Lake Care Bargara pool table. It’s a game he played in his youth and a passion he has rediscovered since moving to the local aged caring community.

At 88 years young, Tony’s known to draw a crowd of fellow resident players, all keen for a game. So much so that Tony’s wife, Beatrice (who also lives at Palm Lake Care Bargara), has given in to the fact that she must share her husband with his beloved pool table – such is his passion for the game.

It was a big decision for the Fratangelos’ daughter, Vivienne Collis, and her two sisters to move their long-time local parents to Palm Lake Care Bargara.

The Fratangelos had called Bargara their home for the past decade or so but, as is so often the case, their four-bedroom/two-bathroom home had simply become too big for them. And Tony needed more care as his dementia intensified. The problem the girls had was finding a quality care provider that could accommodate their parents together. Vivienne (who many will know from her local business, Hummock Honey) also wanted to ensure her parents stayed in their cherished local area. Months on, Vivienne says Palm Lake Care Bargara has proven to be the right choice for their whole family.

“This is the best thing we could have done for Dad – he’s settled in so well,” Vivienne says.

“At home, he’d simply sit around and fall asleep in his chair. Here at Palm Lake Care, he’s so social. He’s into everything!”

Strangers at the time, Tony and Beatrice were on the same boat to Australia from their homeland of Italy when they first met in 1956. It proved to be a fateful voyage. The pair landed in Melbourne, were married within a year and welcomed their three daughters soon after. The family would holiday to Queensland in the family caravan so it was always going to be the state that drew them in their later years. The Fratangelos are now grandparents to four and continue to prove the strength of a loving family’s bond.

“They (mum and dad) can’t live without each other – we were so grateful to get them into rooms side-by-side,” Vivienne says. “They’ve got such beautiful rooms and there are such great facilities here at Palm Lake Care. The nursing staff have been so helpful, too – they are all so friendly. We are so very grateful.”