Walter's story

A new care home brings a new lease on life

When 91 year old Walter moved into the completely new HammondCare Caulfield Village, his son Jeffrey and team of carers were amazed at the impact that this new home had on Walter's wellbeing.

On any given day, you can find Walter exercising his green thumb in the beautifully landscaped gardens that surround his cottage at Caulfield Village. His passion for the outdoors is one of the first things people learn when they meet him.

Walter was diagnosed with dementia after having a fall at his home in Melbourne, where he lived by himself. In the wake of his diagnosis, Walter’s son Jeffrey began noticing severe shifts in his personality. He was misplacing items, and on occasion forgetting to turn the stove off.

It soon became clear to Jeffrey that Walter was no longer able to stay safely at home by himself.

To get the help they needed, Jeffrey turned to HammondCare Caulfield Village for residential care, a purpose built care home thoughtfully designed for people living with dementia.

“When Dad was accepted into HammondCare Caulfield Village, my family and I were relieved because we had the reassurance that he was going to be well cared for”, says Jeffrey.

On Walter’s first day at Caulfield Village he experienced a little bit of anxiety as he adjusted to living in a new care home. However, he was immediately put at ease by the staff’s warm and personal approach to care. “As I learned more about Walter and he learned more about me, his anxiety decreased over time,” says Thomas, Specialised Dementia Carer.

By Walter’s second day, he began to enjoy chatting with his carers, and made friends with the other residents. According to Jeffrey, a great side effect of Walter’s new enabling environment is his improved sense of security and comfort. “From the moment you walk into dad’s cottage, there’s a real sense of belonging – a sense of coming home.”

Walter has also regained his sense of purpose in his new environment, which has been really moving for his carers to witness. “He is staying active and remaining independent by continuing to do the things he enjoys. If he’s not tending to the garden, he is in the workshop socialising or catching up with the other residents over a cup of tea in the kitchen area”, says Thomas.

The design of Caulfield Village and the flexibility of the staff has also enabled Walter’s family to spend more meaningful time with him. “We visit dad whenever we like and often take him on outings. He likes having a meal at the local RSL club or hanging out in his cottage with the other residents,” says Jeffrey.

While Walter is facing challenges with dementia, his son Jeffrey truly believes his life has taken a turn for the better. “The outcome for my dad has exceeded my wishes. This can be attributed to the incredible staff who treat him with compassion and respect, his new friendships and his new environment at Caulfield Village, which he now calls home.”

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Learn more about HammondCare Caulfield Village.