The impact of compassionate, kind and professional home and aged care can be life changing. Recently one of our senior staff members met with one of our home care clients, Doug Beer to discuss his recently completed memoir and the difference Colbrow Care has made to his daily life.
Q: What are the most important lessons you have learnt in life?
A: To listen a lot and talk little.
Q: Who in life have been your biggest influencers and why?
A: If I may digress for a moment, the reason I wrote My Life is because I don’t like answering questions. My Life started because of questions. Early in the year, Ron a friend in the village I have known for 30 years, was given a book by his daughter, it was a book on sale but it was to be filled in by a father for his daughter and it contained a number of questions. I tried to get a copy but
Readings told me it was out of print. I mentioned it to my daughter on the telephone in England and she got a similar book on Amazon and sent it to me. It had 90 questions, some of them you just couldn’t answer such as “Was I your favourite child?”. I answered about 40 of those questions but because I can’t write I had to type the answers on bits of paper and paste them on the page. I sent it back to her half filled and decided I wanted to write a narrative rather than answer questions!
Q: Well, that actually answers my next question – What inspired you to write your memoir?
A: Yes, that inspired me.
Q: Did you have a favourite part of the memoir? Did you enjoy writing a particular part more than other parts?
A: Yes, definitely. In autumn of 1982, we gained possession of a small cottage at Lot 19 Sherbrooke Lodge Road; we used the cottage as a weekend retreat until January 1985 when we moved there as our permanent home. We lived there (the street numbers change and we became No. 9) until we moved to Blue Hills in May 2005. Part of the eastern edge bordered the opposite side of Sherbrooke Lodge Road. In 1985, I was still working and for months, Lois enjoyed making tea for the builders extending our cottage. We lived in Sherbrooke for about 20 years but the middle 10 years was about the best time of my life.
Q: There is a lot to learn from your memoir. What do you think is the best advice you could pass along today?
A: What a good question! I appreciate that question very much. Frankly, I don’t have an immediate answer!
Q: How long did it take in total to write your memoir?
A: It took me five months from May to September. As I began to type it was getting longer and longer, Ilona was able to make folders for me on the computer, I think I went up to folder nine, with those folders representing different decades of my life. Ilona collated them all in the one folder, all 18,000 words and 74 pages!
Q: What was the biggest challenge in writing the memoir?
It would have been categorising all the events and the sheer volume of information. Apparently I was very detailed, Ilona tried to get me to write more concisely, but I remembered everything!
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about being a Colbrow Care home care client?
Yes certainly. I was with a different home care provider and that went sour because I overspent on a taxi card and then COVID came along. I was to have a visit from my case manager in Feb 2020, and the day before I got an email from my provider saying they’re no longer doing house visits. The visit was to sort out the overspend. I was recommended Colbrow by some friends who were extremely happy with their service delivery. When I first started with Colbrow Care, it was a difficult time for all. Right through the lockdowns and the COVID business it’s been difficult for everybody but in the last 6 months I’ve been in heaven because I’ve had regular providers, such wonderful people, and a client couldn’t ask for more dear! It’s the continuity of home care staff that makes all the difference.
How does having the same carers Pat, Vesna, Jade and Lisa assist you and impact your life?
It makes my life at the moment. The mornings that I don’t have any home care help or a cleaner I’m very slow, I don’t get energised and I feel awful.
Would you recommend Colbrow as a home care provider to your family and friends?