Moving into aged care doesn’t have to mean being separated from your partner as the Eddy family's experience shows.
Moving into aged care doesn’t have to mean being separated from your partner. Increasingly, couples are choosing to move into residential aged care together – an option offered by Bupa Aged Care.
For many older people, one of the biggest fears about getting ill or moving into aged care is leaving their partner behind, or their partner suddenly having to be at home on their own without them.
The Eddys are one example of a loving couple who didn’t want to be separated if they didn’t have to be.
The couple’s daughter, Shelley Cooper, says: “Family means a lot to the Eddys. Mum was just 18 when she married. Dad was 25. They’re just absolutely loving.”
However, as the couple has moved through their senior years, looking after themselves and each other has become increasingly challenging, and their children were growing concerned.
“Dad is 95. He can stand for perhaps 10 seconds. Mum is 89. She’s losing her memory and can’t cook anymore as she’s too frightened she’s going to turn something over or burn herself or drop something,” explains their son, Alan Eddy.
"One of the main problems for Dad is that he’s always been worried he is going to pass on before mum. He’s said to me a couple of times, ‘Don’t ever leave her on her own.’”
One of the family’s biggest fears was that something would happen to either their mother or their father and that one would be in hospital for weeks while the other was left at home alone.
“We didn’t want to be seen to be saying, ‘Look Mum and Dad, you have to move into aged care, the time has come.’ All we did as a family was gather all of the facts together and just lay it out on the table.”
The Eddys chose to go into a Bupa Aged Care home early, together, rather than wait until something happened.
“So that was part of us helping care for them,” says Shelley.
Doris Eddy says she has settled in well to Bupa Aged Care.
“At first, to me, it was just sadness about leaving our house that we’d had for years, but after just two or three weeks here I just got this beautiful feeling that this is home, really home.
“I was always so scared [my husband] Alan would be sick one night or something and he’d go. It doesn’t enter my mind now – I just live every day as it is and I can’t be anywhere without this man.”
The Eddys' children say their parents seem much more socially active in their new home and are always doing things together.
“I asked Dad yesterday how they’re feeling and he said ‘I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time.’ If they’re happy then we’re happy, and you can see that they’re happy here.”