When avid cook Maria Viola couldn’t remember the family recipes she’d cooked for 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.
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,” Adraina, of Cardiff, explained.
“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.
Adriana and her siblings visited several homes that specialised in dementia care, 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 Suburbs 18 months ago, Maria has put on weight, is always dressed well and is her usual smiley self.
“I’ve stopped worrying because I know she is safe 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.”
Uniting provides a range of aged care services across NSW and the ACT including residential aged care, independent living, home and community care. Local residential services are in Belmont, Garden Suburb, Elermore Vale, Mayfield, Hamilton, Singleton and Salamander Bay, all offering quality, caring environments.