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‘Never arrive with your hands hanging’ was mums motto when visiting friends and family. Now every time I go to rest home or anywhere for that matter, I always take something. Mum loves scones and if I’ve got time I normally like to bake my own, if not a quick stop at the local Deception Bay bakery on the way to the rest home, usually does the trick.

Things aren’t the same for mum in the rest home, coming to grips with missing special events is hard. I’ve come to realise home videos are one of the best things to help her feel connected. And, with the phones these days you seem to always have a video recorder, the hardest part was training myself how to use it. Felicity, mums cousins daughter married recently, the video man did a fabulous job of the day and I managed to borrow for the next nursing home visit. Normally, I will brush her hair or just gently rub her arm hand while she watches. Another great idea that I’m sure is common thought, is to take magazines or newspapers to read to her.

Whenever the kids are free we like to take the grandchildren for visits, you would normally expect the younger ones to complain but they love visits to the Deception Bay rest home. We take their favourite book so they can read to their nanny. The suite fills with laughter, as they confuse each other with Dr. Seuss tongue twisters, they really do have a fantastic time together. It’s relaxing just to sit and watch them. Sitting in the warm winters sun, the leaves around now magentas and burgundies, cuddled up in a blanket while mother read to us, are some of my first memories. I’m sure these memories will follow the children through their life, as did mine.

My son plays the guitar and we have even discussed putting on a little play for all the residents, something the whole family can get involved in. We approached the rest home staff about it, they loved the idea. They really are sensational, nothing is ever too hard, it’s great!

The rest home facilities are great, sometimes I just don’t have the time to organise something for the visit, there are always plenty of activities including Indoor Bowls, Bingo, Movie Theatre, Crafts and a games area, it’s really quite amazing. There are also many gorgeous gardens to take a walk in if you just want to unwind with your parents. I’m thankful we found the right rest home for mum and one so close to us in Deception Bay.

*Palm Lake respects privacy of the stories and letters provided to us. Therefore, these stories are written as fictional letters based on real life encounters.