We first met Lisa 2 years ago when she was living in aged care. Louise, from the Summer Foundation, chatted with Lisa about how she is going with living in her own home.
Lisa, firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Lisa, I am a woman who is 57 years young. I’m very accepting of people, I love people and advocating for people’s needs. I love celebrating life.
We first met you when you lived in aged care, over 2 years ago, how is life different for you now you live in your own SDA apartment?
When I lived in aged care (cringe!) I just want to wipe it, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
When you’ve been locked away, you need a period to readjust to normal life. Your mind stops thinking because you don’t have to, because you are told every day of your life what to do and when to do it.
It is like there’s been an earthquake, there is rubble you have to wait a while for the ground to settle and you can rebuild again. There are aftershocks. It has taken me months to readjust. My vision has improved. I am winning at Rummikub again.
How was your Christmas and New Year?
It was amazing, amazing!! My sister came all the way from London for 10 days. She was on my bed every morning with coffee, a hug and a kiss on the cheek each morning and night.
I had friends come with presents and French champagne. We had lobster and prawns. I can do what I like when I like, and now even more so. We stayed up until 11 o’clock every night. The carers would come in the morning and then I would have the whole day with my sister and carers would come back at night.
My sister took me to the NGV for Christmas Eve, champagne cocktails, wine and lunch, dessert and more wine. Until she announced she was a bit tipsy! I must admit I was a bit worried about her pushing me home! When we got home, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said I will always remember this special day.
The lobster we ate on Christmas Eve with more champagne!
How was this different from your last Christmas and your Christmases in aged care?
Last Christmas I was still suffering the aftershocks of moving out of aged care.
Christmas in aged care was sad. The meaning of Christmas is a bit lost, what Christmas truly is, is lost. They do the best they can but ultimately it is sad.
And finally, we have been working together for over 2 years now, why do you share your experience?
For the same reason why I have always spoken – people will only learn if you listen to the people you are trying to help. I have got a mouth that I can use, I can only help others by talking. Knowledge is power.