Lovebirds stay connected thanks to Juniper - Juniper

Lovebirds stay connected thanks to Juniper

Anella will never forget the despair she felt when she realised that her beloved husband, Dom, needed to go into residential care due to his declining health.

Before Dom fell ill, the couple had secured a top-floor apartment at Juniper Elimatta Retirement Living Village, but within a few months of moving into their new home, Anella realised she wasn’t physically or emotionally able to care for her husband Dom after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“He was very sick, and I remember just feeling terrible thinking ‘I can’t do this anymore’,” she recalled, on the brink of tears.

Having shared her concerns with Juniper Elimatta Retirement Living Manager Jenny Hager, Anella felt relieved that she had someone else to confide in and hear her story without judgement.

Moved by Anella’s story, Jenny leapt into action and connected Anella and her family with the residential manager at the nearby Juniper Elimatta Residential Aged Care Home.

Fortunately, Anella and her family were able to secure a room for Dom which, coincidentally, could be seen from Anella’s balcony.

“Given it was so close, Anella could walk over and visit him anytime,” Jenny said.

“Both her and her family were very happy with how it all worked out because it gave them all peace of mind.”

For Anella, knowing her husband was only a walk away gave her a huge sense of comfort.

“I was so happy when Jenny found Dom that room,” Anella said.

“It was very warm and homely and the staff were lovely.

“I’d go to visit him everyday and then at night from my balcony, I could look over at his room and if his light was on, I knew he was awake. So it gave me peace of mind.”

The couple’s fairytale love story began in her teenage years, not long after they had moved to Australia from Italy.

Dom was boarding with Anella’s family and had managed to land an apprenticeship as a ceiling fixer.

Anella recalls how he “only had eyes for me” and vowed that one day he would marry her.

“I always remember how Dom wrote me a love letter in Italian, and he called me ‘Gorgeous Girl’,” she said. “It really was love at first sight.”

The couple married in 1963 and went on to have three children together.

Sadly, Dom passed away in 2021, but Anella took comfort in knowing that he was in good hands during his final years at Juniper Elimatta Residential Aged Care Home.

“The staff were very good to me and Dom,” Anella said. “Whenever I would leave him after visiting him, I felt relieved because I knew that the staff were looking after him.

“They were happy for us to take Dom out anytime, so it was a very nice experience for me and my family.”