RIGHT MOVE: The relationship between Ruby Rosenkranz and her daughter Heather Dowzer has flourished since she began living at Gunther Village Aged Care Home.
RIGHT MOVE: The relationship between Ruby Rosenkranz and her daughter Heather Dowzer has flourished since she began living at Gunther Village Aged Care Home. Felicity Ripper

How an aged care home transformed a family bond

DESPERATE and scared is how Heather Dowzer described herself when she was trying to find her mother a suitable aged care home, so that she could be discharged from hospital.

The family from Bundaberg searched for vacant spaces in their local area, but found nothing that suited them.

"Everyone was asleep in their chairs and we knew that would be no good for mum because she's too active, and we couldn't do that to her," Ms Dowzer said.

And then they heard about Gunther Village, at Gayndah.

"Bringing mum to Gayndah was the best thing we could have done," she said.

Since being at Gunther Village, Ruby Rosenkranz's memory and outlook have improved significantly, having benefited from in-house cognitive stimulation therapy.

To decrease symptoms of dementia, Mrs Dowzer was tasked with bringing in items which her mother used throughout her life.

Kept in a vintage Wheat Bix tin, antique household items and a magazine light up Ms Rosenkranz's face.

"It's turned out okay, just quietly," Ms Rosenkranz said with a twinkle in her eye.

"I get to do a bit of jumping around."

Ms Dowzer said her current relationship with her mother is better then it has ever been.

"After Jenny, the lifestyle co-ordinator, introduced the cognitive stimulation there was a huge change in her," she said.

"And because Jenny and the rest of the team at Gunther Village are so nice to her, that's reflecting in my mum.

"I've only ever hugged my mum twice in life, and both times have been since she's been in there."

Mrs Dowzer said she was indebted to the staff and wished she could live closer so that she could volunteer.

"The biggest thing of all is the peace of mind that Gunther Village has given us," she said.


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