Palm Lake Care Residents' Stories

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done on behalf of our family in applying for the exemption to get dad moved to a safer location. Although he has chosen to stay where he is, I know that he would have enjoyed being one of the Palm Lake family, which is why you and other Palm Lake Care staff put in so much time and effort on his behalf. I am so sorry that dad won’t be experiencing all that the Palm Lake Care family have to offer in the beautiful Beachmere location.

One of the biggest things that I learnt from being involved with the Palm Lake Care community during the two weeks that Mum was at Mt Warren Park was how much you actually care about all of your guests. From the very first day that mum entered I was amazed at how much everyone really wanted to get to know her, from the maintenance man, carers, nurses, kitchen staff to cleaners. Even the residents were concerned about how she was and they would ask how I was also. Dad and Belinda did not spend much time up there during this period really, only a handful of one hour visits so I suppose they didn’t get to feel how much of a family it is. I think that is a reflection on being a family owned and run business like Palm Lake against being a bigger corporation like Tricare or Opal. When they were visiting they were probably given more space and privacy, whereas I was very much just part of the furniture.

I remember saying to Kathy the Lifestyle coordinator at the door to Mum’s room on the first day after she had been in telling mum all about the things that she was going to get Mum involved in “you do realise that she is palliative?”. To which Kathy replied “Yes but she can enjoy every minute she has left.” It was a massive eye opener for me. I had a total about face. Mum went there because she was terrified of going back into hospital and she was getting harder to nurse at home. It didn’t mean that she had to be stuck in her room for the whole time on her bed. And she wasn’t for the first nine or ten days. It was only once the pain got too bad and she got weaker that she got more bed ridden.

I also had a total mind shift about what aged care was about or should be about by being part of the Palm Lake Care Family, if only for a short time. A lot of the residents/guests are going to be at the facility for ten, fifteen or twenty years. The facility is their home first and foremost. As such it’s about not so much hanging onto the past but making new friends and beginning again. Moving forward with their lives. I would leave some nights at anytime between 8.30pm and 2.00am depending on how Mum was. There would be groups of people using a lounge area to play cards or watch television together, not just one or two nights but every single night (unless it was after midnight).

As sad as it may be for some residents to not have visitors all the time, I also believe that they are definitely going to be able to make friends and enjoy their life in the wonderful surroundings that Palm Lake Care facilities offer. Quite a lot of the residents certainly only used their rooms as a bedroom, they got up in the morning and used the resort throughout the day, the different lounge areas, gardens, dining areas, theatre etc. they were stimulated, active both physically and mentally. Aged care facilities should not be a place for someone to go into and spend the next ten to twenty years sitting in front of a television in their bedroom hoping that they may get a visitor. Palm Lake Care is the gold standard of what aged care in the modern era should be.

I have certainly told both of my children that I am more than happy for them to place me in a facility like Palm Lake Care, if they can ever find one that is to your standard as they both visited Mum there and were very impressed.

Again thank you for all that you have done for us, both this week and while Mum was in your care. Having Mum in Palm Lake Care allowed me to create some lasting joyous memories. I am certain that Sharyn feels 100% the same way as I do about your family.

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