Wendy was a teacher, intelligent and warm-hearted, however due to her illness it became more difficult to live in unsupported accommodation. She moved around from accommodation to accommodation, at one time living in the Gatwick Hotel on Fitzroy St until one day her doctor called Margaret, our residential aged care manager, to ask if Sacred Heart Mission could find a place for her in our community.
A core value here at the Mission, is to welcome everyone to our table, regardless of their situation. Despite difficulties Wendy had sharing accommodation with other people it was decided that she should be given the chance to live in the safe, supportive and respectful environment of Sacred Heart Community.
Initially Wendy started by having lunch at the facility, slowly getting to know the other residents, who were instrumental to welcoming her to the Mission declaring, “we need to be welcoming and open our hearts to Wendy.”
Once Wendy moved into the facility, Margaret’s team, with Wendy’s GP and psychiatric services were able to stabilise her general and psychiatric health. Step-by-step they built up a mutual trust, dancing and singing to Abba together, until three months later she accepted an invitation to take part in our arts program. Wendy was an amazing artist, creating beautiful paintings and poems.
Even though Wendy demonstrated some challenging mental health issues at times, the other residents cared for her deeply because she was so loving, warm and bright in her moments of peace.
Unfortunately, Wendy became ill and during her last moments with us, residents would visit her room and sit by her bed during the night. As a community everyone was able to say goodbye to her in their own way and carry her through her last moments. Surrounded by her loving family and community, she peacefully passed away.
Margaret often reflects that, despite living with such a difficult and complex illness, Wendy faced the world with enormous courage.
For many of our residents, our facility is the first home they have experienced for many, many years. It is an honour and joy to make such an immense difference to someone’s life by providing them with a safe, welcoming home for life. Our new aged care facility and rooming house will provide 107 safe and secure homes for our community’s most disadvantaged.
Names and images have been changed to protect client's privacy