At Regis, the value of family is paramount, and we do everything we can to make sure residents can still see their loved ones during visitor restrictions. For our Alawarra Lodge resident, Anthony “Ted” Taylor, family was vital to his transition into aged care. Before moving into Regis Alawarra Lodge in July 2021, Ted experienced a decline in his health and was in and out of critical care. Faced with further challenges such as COVID-19 outbreaks and having been unable to initially find a Home, it was family and a dedicated team that made all the difference to Ted’s journey.

After being turned away from several aged care homes, Ted’s wife, Pam, and daughter, Meredith, approached Regis Alawarra Lodge with hesitance and trepidation.

Meredith and Pam’s fears were quickly alleviated upon arriving at Alawarra Lodge as General Manager, Tracy Grigor, assured them that Ted would be cared for. Meredith recalls that “Tracy said to me no matter what, she would find a bed for my father, and within two days, she had found one. There is no better place he could be.” Within a few days and a change in medication, Ted returned to his mild-mannered self, and the loving man is popular amongst employees in the Home. Ted now happily resides in the Memory Support Unit at Regis Alawarra Lodge.

Speaking highly of the dedicated team at Alawarra Lodge, Meredith says, “It was made really easy for us by Tracy and all the team. They go above and beyond, and they just know what to do. They put on my father’s favourite jumper. Dad knows every employee, and they all know Dad. Thank goodness we found this place. He’s lucky to be here at Alawarra Lodge.” When speaking of Regis’ support, Meredith says that “nothing is a hassle for Tracy, and everything is easy. Even on Sundays, she will always get in touch to provide an update. She also responds straight away.”

Born in Cornwall, England, Ted was put into an orphanage with his brother until he was 17, where Ted said that he “saw planes during the war”. Arriving in Australia after a long boat journey, Ted met the love of his life, Pam, and they have been together ever since. Meredith reflects on her parents, who have been married for 65 years and counting, as “the happiest and most beautiful couple. They are so in love and just adore each other.”

Meredith, Pam, and family continue to play significant roles in Ted’s life at Alawarra Lodge. The Partners in Care program, which allows our resident’s loved ones to continue visiting them during periods of restricted visitation, has been vital to Ted’s wellbeing. Partners in Care work closely with the team at the Home to follow infection and prevention control measures that keep our residents safe and ensures that visitors can continue to safely visit their loved ones.

Despite COVID-19 outbreaks, both continue to visit Ted at the Home on alternating days to remain close by his side and to ensure that he can continue doing what he loves most. As an avid walker and runner, Ted used to walk five kilometres every day. While he may not be able to still make that distance, Ted continues to get outside each day for walks and to maintain social interaction with his family.

Peeping outside the window to the Alawarra Lodge courtyard would often include a view of Ted enjoying a stroll with his loved ones or perhaps even relishing a basketball game. Meredith says that “nobody ever used the basketball hoop until Dad arrived. As soon as I asked, the Lifestyle team were quick to set it up and get everything organised. He still plays and never misses. He knows what he’s doing.” Treating the team at Alawarra Lodge to a display of his exemplary basketball skills, Ted showed off his wonderful talents and was forever a gentleman when he said to Meredith, “ladies first”, to encourage his daughter to take the first shot.

Walking into Ted’s room gives a glimpse at what he values most. The first thing that catches the eye is a blanket on his bed adorned with beautiful images of his family and friends. Photos cover the walls, capturing memories and moments in time that Ted holds close. It’s clear that family is Ted’s beating heart and evident in the tight bond with his wife and daughter, both of whom made his transition to aged care easy and seamless.

The transition would also not have been possible without Tracy and the remarkable team at Alawarra Lodge. Meredith says, “When no one else would take him, Tracy and the team at Alawarra Lodge were there. They won because they got my beautiful father.” Observing Ted, a dapper gentleman in his fedora, button-up shirt, and intentionally mismatched shoes, surrounded by loving family members and a caring team, it’s clear that Regis is lucky to have him at the Home.