Making the choice: embracing life in residential care

Friday, 07 June, 2024

Making the choice: embracing life in residential care

When Fay Penn had the opportunity to move into a residential aged care home at Resthaven Murray Bridge, she jumped at the chance.

In her own words, Fay’s health was plummeting, and she was no longer managing at home.

“I knew that if I left it and ended up in hospital for some reason, then I wouldn’t have the choice of where I could go. I wanted to make the decision myself,” she said.

Previously living in a unit behind McCue’s bakery at Murray Bridge, Fay said she is very happy with the move into Resthaven.

Fay Penn.

“I’ve lived in Murray Bridge for the past 12 years. I moved here a couple of years after my husband died. Previously we had been in different spots around the state, including at Meningie where we ran a service station for six years.”

Fay and her husband ran the service station from 1964.

“It was a pretty hectic lifestyle. We were working seven days a week, and even in the middle of the night we might hear the bell to alert us that someone was travelling through and needed petrol. In those days there was no self-service, so we would pump the petrol as well as clean the windscreen and top up the oil. Sometimes, we just about serviced the car right there in the driveway!”

When the chance came up to purchase and operate another service station, this time at Light Square, Adelaide, the couple took it.

“It was all big business when we were there. In Meningie we knew all the local trucking companies and the regular drivers. In Adelaide, we dealt with large businesses and fleets of cars. We had four workshops in total, so we hired two more mechanics who helped with the work. It was very different,” Fay said.

Over time, Fay made her way back out of the city, and she said her latest move has been life-changing.

“It was a bit daunting to pack up everything and move, but I am very happy here now that I have settled. The staff are simply wonderful — at all levels. Whether they are cleaners, nurses or management, they simply can’t do enough for you. Everyone is very pleasant and very helpful.”

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