Sara Mason always knew she’d end up at Stella Anderson Nursing home.
“I’m a very spiritual person and for many years I had visions of this place. As soon as we drove up the hill I knew this place was for me,” she said.
Earlier this year Sara had a stroke. She was in hospital for a fortnight and private aged care for a short while before she moved to Stella Anderson.
“My husband passed away seven years ago. It was only Rambo the dog keeping me going but my daughter took him,” he said.
Sara said some people struggle with the transition into aged care, but she at ease with the situation.
“I’ve had a hard life. I didn’t want that anymore,” she said.
“I’m quite content here and that’s the big thing, being content. Some people get depressed, sad and frustrated. I call it (Stella Anderson) my extended family.”
Sara has made her room and the facility feel like home, beautifying it with flowers and plants. Her bathroom in particular has become famous across the Gibson Street complex.
“People have got to see something pretty to feel good,” she said.
She keeps busy knitting rugs for extended family - averaging about 2-3 per week - reading and socialising.
Dick Boyd will never lose his sense of adventure.
The 88-year-old, who used to caravan across Australia, hurt his back from a fall and lost his driver’s licence.
“I used to go where I wanted to, but losing the car was tough,” he said.
Dick’s wife, Norma, was already a resident at Joan Pinder so the family and Dick made the pre-emptive decision to go into the aged care facility.
“I was quite capable at home and was coming in a lot to see Norma anyway so we made the call,” he said.
Initially Dick struggled with the transition into aged care, perhaps feeling he didn’t need to be there, but soon realised the support at hand was beneficial.
“You get used to it, it’s a different way of life. It’s part of life, you age and to have the support around you is important,” he said.
Dick, a former Eaglehawk football club rover, most enjoys the events at of Joan Pinder.
“Socially it’s really good, there’s always a bit of a party going on with a few beers and biscuits but if you want to sit in your room on your own for some quiet time, you can,” he said.
After a couple of falls and trouble with her heart, Dulcie Gibson moved back to Bendigo from the Sunshine Coast.
She’s been in two Bendigo Health aged care facilities – Carshalton House and now Stella Anderson – and was struck by the caring nature of staff.
“They’re very friendly. I feel comfortable and at home. The nurses genuinely care for you, they care about you and your problems and they take an interest in you,” she said
Career grape farmer Neil Masters has been on the go since he was teenager.
Now aged 85, the ‘Head Gardener’ at Stella Anderson he keeps himself busy in the veggie garden and flowerbeds throughout the facility.
“I’m the gardener, I love getting out there in the veggie patch, watering it every couple of days, making sure it looks good. The gardening keeps me active and interested,” he said.
We value feedback from patients, family members and carers.