May 14th, 2022Angela loving her life at Hepburn House
ANGELA Rigby is a great advocate for Hepburn House – but her move in March last year was far from planned.
The now 81-year-old was living in a unit in Harper Court, Daylesford when she had a fall in the bathroom and had to shimmy along the floor through the laundry to the bedroom before she could manage to stand up and call for help.
She was OK but had done some damage to her sciatic nerve and found herself in Hepburn House for respite care.
“I got talking to Dianne (the manager) and she just asked me why not stay on, so I said yes. And it’s been brilliant. I told my son I was finally feeling a sense of freedom. And I meant mental freedom, physically you decline as you age of course, but mentally it is great here.
“There is the kindness and care of the staff, you can have as much or as little company as you like and there are no horror stories which you hear about some aged care places in the country.
“I would 100 per cent recommend it to other people who are perhaps feeling a little frail or lonely but come in first for a look around and see what the rooms and facilities look like.
“I think a lot of older people have preconceived ideas about aged care homes, but Hepburn House is fantastic. I put it down to Dianne, she is a very good manager.”
Angela is also happy to let other people do things for her after a busy working life and raising seven children.
The young family migrated from Lincolnshire, England in 1973, one of the first of the 10-pound poms to arrive via Boeing rather than a ship.
The move came because Angela, originally from the country, watched her husband working at the steelworks and with her four sons, thought “God, there must be a better place in the world for them”.
“England was very class conscious then and I just didn’t think they could be successful if we stayed trapped in that class scene and I was right. They are all doing very well now so it was a good move.”
The family of eight stayed in a migrant hostel once they arrived in Australia until they could find a family home in Melbourne, but her husband left not long after.
Angela, who worked in the mental health field most of her life, met an older Australian man, who had a friend with a cottage in Hepburn, and they used to spend their Christmas holidays there. Finally, as her partner got closer to retiring, the family made the permanent move in the late 1970s, looking at a house in Mt Franklin but choosing Sailors Hill.
When her partner died, she moved in with her daughter’s family in Bendigo. A few weeks later her son-in-law accepted a job in Darwin, and with the collapse of Ansett, they found a campervan and the family, including two babies and a cat and a dog, drove up to Darwin. Angela stayed for three years but then moved back to the Central Highlands and to Harper Place.
“So yes, I have been busy but I am not being busy any more and I am not moving out of here. I can relax and let other people look after me. It’s wonderful. I still like doing research on aged care – I was one of the people who opened Lumeah Lodge when the town decided we needed an aged care facility – and I like reading about human behaviour. I also do meditation colouring – that’s my creative activity. But mostly it is just great being responsible for just yourself, and having time for yourself. That is an amazing thing.”
Hepburn House is a progressive aged care centre offering a highly advanced, fully personalised range of aged care services for its residents.
Contact: 5348 8100 or www.hepburnhouse.com.au