Family care comes full circle
For Woodvale resident Claudia Desveaux, helping out as part of her grandmother’s support team is an obviously choice. It’s a role reversal she cherishes after the years of love and support she received as a child.
Rolande Desveaux, 98, who lives with dementia, now relies on two generations of family members to provide the same support she once provided. ‘It’s our turn to look after her’, said Claudia.
Claudia, along with her mother Kerry, father and brother, look after Rolande on weekends, while Magali Reid, Rolande’s daughter, is her primary carer during the week. As her dementia journey progresses, the family are looking for external support to maintain Rolande’s quality of life.
Mrs Deveaux is among the first clients of Walker House, Woodvale’s first specialist dementia day centre, recently opened in December 2023 by Alzheimer’s WA. The organisation operates three similar properties in Shenton Park, Mandurah and Albany, with plans to open more.
Walker House will provide the family or carer of a person living with dementia a short day break while providing an enriching experience for the person living with dementia, with activities, arts and crafts, gentle exercise, games and quizzes and household tasks. Effective respite care can delay or even prevent the need to enter a full-time residential care facility.
Spending some time at Walker House will be a benefit to Rolande and her team of family carers equally. “The type of cognitive stimulation and experiences a house like this can provide is more than we can give her at home”, said Claudia. For Magali, “Having her here will give me that freedom to do something for myself, attend appointments, (go to) my doctor – just sit down if I have to, knowing she will be taken care of. Having her here will be a tremendous help for me. Mum will love it.”
Walker House will use an innovative model of care, utilising the latest in care technology and a person-centred approach, meaning care is designed around the individual’s personal circumstances and preferences.
House Manager Jennifer Quartermaine is ready to welcome customers to the house: “Our team are excited to open the doors of Walker House to the residence of the northern suburbs. This kind of service has been a long time coming and we’re delighted to be able to offer it.”
Enquiries and bookings can be made by calling 1300 66 77 88.
Watch the Desveaux family’s story below.