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Respite Recovery: the power of love, care and compassion

15th July 2020 | 3 mins

Betty and Harry Opal Bairnsdale

Betty came to live at Opal Bairnsdale in 2017 for respite care after knee replacement surgery didn’t go to plan. One of our team met Betty at the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service to explain the benefits of respite care and help her on her rehab journey. Betty has a doting and supportive husband Harry, who was sad that he could not provide the support that Betty needed at that time. Together, Betty and Harry decided that coming to live at Opal Bairnsdale would be the best way to ensure Betty had the care she needed in an environment where Harry could continue to provide valuable support.

Betty had several obstacles to overcome including physical challenges, depression, and a loss of independence. Unable to walk on her own, Betty required full assistance in all of her daily care needs and because she had lost her appetite, was underweight.

Our team at Bairnsdale worked diligently with Betty, offering her not just excellent clinical care but friendship and an extended family. Harry played an important role in her care, visiting Betty every day for lunch and dinner to maintain their regular routine as a couple. Over the past two and a half years, he has become just as important to our team as Betty.  Through constant support from our care home team and our fantastic physio team, we saw Betty improve day by day. Most of all, she has regained her sense of joy and purpose in life, which has significantly improved her wellbeing.

Betty has now gained weight, is fully ambulant (outrunning many of our team), runs our care home kiosk, helps her fellow residents to enjoy their days, and is an inspiration to us all.  

We are thrilled that Betty is now well enough to return home to live with the love of her life, Harry, and we will miss them both immensely. Betty’s story is a testament to her constant courage and determination, her husband’s enduring love and support, and the dedicated and compassionate care of our Opal team.


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