Extracts from a reference received about Manoah House residential aged care facility:
I particularly came to value the work of Manoah House in the times when my mother-in-law, and later, my mother, were residents. Both of them saw Manoah as their home rather than just an institution where they needed to be and spoke highly of the respectful care extended by staff.
As families, we valued the sensitivity to meeting the cultural and Christian contexts of our mothers. They both greatly appreciated the Dutch social context and the interaction with other members of Manoah Village and of the extended Dutch community and church communities that interact closely with and serve Manoah.
One of the greatest differences I noticed between Manoah House and other homes I visited was the amount of room and the way residents could create their own home-like environment. Most facilities were limited to providing a hospital room with an armchair and television and very little opportunity to personalise them. My mother-in-law and mother both had large rooms at Manoah, well beyond the industry norm, and were able to personalise their ‘units’ with a few items of their own favourite furniture, paintings, lamps, ornaments, photographs, armchairs, plants etc. Just having a sink and kitchen area with a small fridge, table and chairs of their own made the world of difference in allowing our mothers to see their units as their homes where they could entertain family and visitors and take a pride in their surroundings.
As family, we always felt that staff communicated with us in a clear and friendly manner and encouraged us to be part of our mothers’ routines and care. We sensed warm bonds developing between our mothers and the carers. The gentle, patient, caring interaction was beautiful to see. We were always made to feel welcome when we visited each day and sensed a strong sense of partnership between the home and family as we together cared for our mothers.
The range of allied health services that visited to assist with care, the support from the visiting doctor and services like a visiting hairdresser, pastors, entertainers etc, all helped to enrichen the lives of our mothers during their time at Manoah.
I fondly remember some of the occasions when staff went far beyond what they were required to do to create special activities and celebrate special occasions with residents. I came to pick up my mother on Christmas morning and found the residents thoroughly enjoying a very special breakfast with each person provided with a gift from staff, at their own expense and with some coming in to entertain residents even when they were not working that day. We valued those moments of joy and laughter which staff brought to the residents’ lives.
After spending a short period in hospital, my mother went back to Manoah to die. At first we wondered if she shouldn’t stay in hospital, but from the moment I first raised the matter with the facility manager, I was in awe at the level of care and service Manoah provided to my mother and our family during the final days. No service seemed too much and we had special palliative care nurses, visits from Silver Chain, clear communication about what was being done and what to expect, pastoral support for the family and staff and village residents generously going out of their way to bring family members food and refreshments.
In retrospect, I would rather that our mothers had not had to go into an aged care facility at all. However, when that time came, Manoah proved to be a huge blessing to them and our families.
(Original copy can be sighted on demand but not available for distribution at the request of the author)