HammondAtHome client turns 100 on Anzac Day

April 25, 2015 is a major milestone for HammondAtHome client, Careen Barnet, not only because it is the 100th anniversary of Anzac Day, but because it’s her 100th birthday.

Born in Germany, April 25, 1915, the same day Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed in Turkey, Careen’s family were on the other side of the conflict, with her father conscripted into the German army to fight on the Russian front.And Careen has more reason than most people to be especially reflective on what is one of Australia’s most significant days of the year.

Despite serving his nation with distinction and being badly wounded, he feared for his family when in the 1930s, Hitler and the National Socialists rose to power.

“My father always said if Hitler came to power, we would leave Germany,” Careen said. And leave they did in 1933, fearful that as Jews (on Careen’s father’s side), they would be in danger in their home country.

After five years living in Italy, Careen married her husband Lesley and they were to be together for 73 years.

In the turmoil of impending war, they moved to France, then Britain (the day after war was declared) before eventually arriving in Australia in 1950.

But Careen’s father did not live to see his daughter’s future unfold. While still living in Paris with his wife, he was arrested after German occupation and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, and was never seen again.

All these years later, Careen sees Anzac Day as an occasion for all affected by the horrors of war to remember loss and love.

“So many have been through worst things than me,” Careen said.

“I don’t think we should forget about these things that have happened. Not for revenge, but for understanding.”Wartime events seem far removed from Careen’s family home in Revesby where she has lived since they arrived in Australia 65 years ago.

With the support of her four children, - Angela, Susan, Michael and Alan – and the care provided by HammondAtHome, Careen is able to continue to enjoy living at home.

Care workers Ollie Parsons and Jenny Keough have been visiting Careen and providing support for much of the past five years, first offering care to husband Lesley and now to Careen.

“We always love coming to Careen’s home,” Ollie said. “It is such a privilege to partner with this family in supporting her.”

Daughter Angela, who now lives with her mother, says, “I’m the full time carer and they are the part time carers!”

As for Careen, it is obvious as she sits around the table and an early birthday cake with daughters and care workers, that she is surrounded by a circle of care, which extends out to nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

And her tip for having a long life is tinged with her trademark sense of humour.

“Just keep breathing.”

Going to the gym into her 80s, sensible diet, all things in moderation, positive attitude and staying mentally and physically active are other factors, according to her daughters.

“And we were lucky to come to Australia,” Careen adds.

For more information about Anzac Day at HammondCare, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.