25 February 2017


Dear Charisma and Sue,


We write to thank you both, and your staff, for your kind and professional care of Robin Anker at Avonlea.


Due to Robin being younger, family members and friends were mostly in full-time employment. This meant that we were often visiting at odd times of the day to fit in round work schedules. No matter what time of the day we visited, and what the routine was for that time slot, the staff were consistently respectful, patient, and fully present with the needs of residents.


As Robin’s illness progressed his needs changed, and when he lost all language around 18 months ago, staff had to find new ways of communicating with him. We were consistently aware that staff adapted easily to Robin’s changing needs, and without fail he was treated with understanding, respect, and care.


It was very reassuring for us to know that Robin felt safe in Avonlea. We believe that Robin came to consider Avonlea his home, and the many rituals and routines he developed were comforting to him as he created his daily life in the Avonlea environment.


It’s impossible to name all staff individually as so many staff were involved in making Robin’s journey with dementia safe and enjoyable for him. However there are just a couple of staff we would like to acknowledge.


Amy knew Robin so well and understood his rituals, insecurities and his likes and dislikes; and he responded well to her. I phoned Ofa many times and spoke to Amy to hear about Robin’s day, or to find out if he needed new toiletries, clothing etc. I believe that family are an important part of the residential care picture. Robin had little insight into his illness, and once he lost all language, we were totally reliant on staff to hear about the important “little things”. Amy always took the time out of her busy schedule to sit with me and tell me a few nice things Robin had done that week, or his new favourite food. This was so comforting for family, and I was able to email these special stories to other family members.


The transition/dying times creates a lasting memory for family, and we particularly want to thank Jan and Milan (RN’s) who gave us informative, professional and honest information; and provided compassionate care.


Once again, thank you to Avonlea management and staff for all you did daily to maintain Robin’s respect, dignity, and quality of life.


Kind regards,


Gail Payne

Adrian Anker-Payne


Hello Kathy,

I've just spent the last few days with Mum and we had a wonderful time together.

I just wanted to say 'thank you'.

I had the chance to meet someof the carers and the people that Mum lives with and they are all such a lovely lot. I am so touched by the caring team you have there at Avonlea - my last day there I tried to say 'thank you for taking care of my Mum' to one of the staff that was just going off shift but I started welling up so I didn't try that again, I just said 'goodbye' to the carers when I left. I would have liked to have let them know that I am so appreciative of all they do for Mum - they are precious and very beautiful people. Thanks again.

Kind regards,

Karen Tippen
August 2012.

Dealing with Dementia

When the unexpected happens but you know in your mind it is coming to your loved one, you feel, yes I can deal with this, but in a very short time the time comes & you have to be parted. This happened to me 4 years ago this January, our lives changed immediately but life still had to go on for both of us. Looking for suitable care was not easy, after looking at several places we picked Avonlea & have not regretted our decision. With your loved one there, you can be sure they are getting the best possible attention. After almost 4 years in care, my wife has moved to Admatha Lodge to receive a higher level of hospital care. The move was arranged with us, no fuss or bother & she is receiving great care from all the staff in her new home.

Even though everything possible is being done for your loved one it is still a great feeling to call in regularly to say hello to everyone, have a cuppa, go for a walk etc. Every time I take something, maybe a sweet, fruit or a biscuit. She may not know me anymore but knows I am familiar & have something for her. Most of the time I get a smile & it is good to be wanted again.

Even though my world sometimes feels like it has crashed around me, I try to keep busy, gardening, baking, walking, visiting & talking with friends. I have also joined a club. It is not easy being alone but we have to adjust & move on.

Many thanks to all the staff at Avonlea & Admatha, you have made a very hard time bearable.

If anyone wants to ask any questions, I will be only too happy to oblige.

Yours sincerely,

George Hood

My Mum’s needs changed last year and we found ourselves in the very daunting situation of looking for a new rest home that was tailored to meet mums needs.

Mum moved into Avonlea in March 2010, the staff and management of Avonlea made the transition from mum’s previous retirement home to her new home at Avonlea a very stress free experience for us.

They were very supportive during this time not only for mum but also for me. Avonlea is a warm, clean and homely environment and provides mum with safe and reasonable care.

Mum loves her sunny bedroom with en suite and says she enjoys the meals; I have complete peace of mind that she is safe and well cared for.

I have always found the staff to be approachable, friendly and continually keep me updated regarding mums health. They always make me feel welcome when I visit mum and often invite me to stay and have a meal with my mum if I wish to.

Keep up the good work Avonlea.

 Gillian Patten

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