Juniper community gives a new lease on life for Albany local - Juniper
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Juniper community gives a new lease on life for Albany local

Many people know Don Titterton for his friendly smile, his involvement within the local community, and his board game. Yet the 79-year-old claims he owes his happiness to one highly regarded community – Juniper Boronia Court.

The local Albany resident says when he was offered a unit at Juniper Boronia Court a decade ago, he was at the lowest point in his life.

“My marriage of 27 years ended, I was nearly bankrupt, and I lost my family home. As a result of everything, I was hospitalised and had a few close calls,” says Don.

“Once I was able to leave hospital, a friend took me to see Boronia Court, and luckily for me, there was a vacancy which I was able to secure.”

Ten years later, Don says the support and companionship he received from the community helped him to turn his life around and find joy again.

“Juniper gave me a second chance of life and now I am 110% better. The security of having somewhere to live and people around me who were there for me when I needed them most changed my life. The amazing Retirement Living Coordinator made me stronger and got me back into the world,” Don says.

Moving to Boronia Court also allowed Don to devote more time to a board game he designed over 20 years ago to help people who were struggling to learn to read and write.

“I was undiagnosed with Dyslexia until my late 30s. This may not be obvious now, but I couldn’t write a sentence before that. I created ‘Kanga Words’ as an educational and challenging game for anyone who enjoys words. This board game has evolved over the last ten years and encourages people to look inside a word, which made more sense to me than trying to read a word,” he says.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Don was running regular Kanga Word sessions with the residents at Juniper Korumup Residential Aged Care Home and said it was a fun two-hour activity.

“I am continuing to work on the development and progress of the game. Also, with the assistance of two Albany primary school teachers and TAFE professors, I am certified to volunteer with the Education Department to assist children in overcoming some of the issues I encountered in school before being diagnosed with dyslexia,” Don says.

“I am now so busy and engaged in the things I love to do, and I owe this all to Juniper. Thank you.”

If you or someone close to you is in distress or immediate danger dial 000 as soon as possible. To speak to a mental health care professional call Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4363 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.