It was the best decision

Maria and her daughter Adriana are sitting in the garden at Uniting Garden Suburb and are chatting. They are comfortable and happy.

It was the best decision

When avid cook Maria Viola couldn’t remember the family recipes she’d cooked for years and years, it was the early signs of something to come.

Dementia was taking hold of Maria, now 74, and the condition was about to take its toll on her whole family.

Maria cared for her young grandchildren while her daughter, Adriana, went to work as a special education teacher. But Adriana began to notice her mother was beginning to forget to have a shower or to eat lunch.

“Her appearance became dishevelled and she started to talk about wanting to go and live in her other house. We weren’t sure what house she was talking about,” explains Adriana, of Cardiff.

“From there the deterioration happened really quickly. Within a year she didn’t know who I was. That was really hard to come to terms with.”

For Adriana and her siblings it has been a hard journey since, having to provide more care and eventually make the decision to put their mother in a care home.

“I was pregnant at the time and also had two kids aged five and three. I was checking in on mum before work, in my lunch break and after work. Every time a siren went past I worried it was an ambulance going to pick her up. My stress levels were through the roof,” says Adriana.

When the time came to start looking at care homes that specialised in dementia care, Adriana and her siblings visited several, before choosing Uniting Garden Suburb.

“We fell in love with the place. It was a warm environment and there were staff members carrying out activities while we walked around. There were outings the residents could go on. It really helped to put my mind at rest,” says Adriana.

Since moving into Uniting Garden Suburb 18 months ago, Maria has put on weight, is always dressed well and is back to being her usual smiley self.

“I’ve stopped worrying because I know she is safe. She’s looked after and loved by the staff. Even the way they hug her shows this.

“Putting her in aged care was hard but the best decision our family has made.”

Get in touch

Uniting provides a range of aged care services across NSW and the ACT including residential aged care, home and community aged care and retirement living. To find out more about the retirement and aged care options that Uniting can offer call us on 1 800 864 846 or email us.

This story originally appeared in the Newcastle Herald.

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