“It’s very important to be able to do things like this – I was like a kid on Christmas day,” she says.
“It makes you think things can happen.”
Annette and husband Frank moved to Yamba for an early retirement after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
They had been there for 13 years when Frank was diagnosed with dementia. The diagnosis prompted a decision to move back closer to family at Ipswich, Queensland and they bought a unit at Bolton Clarke’s Milford Grange Retirement Village.
“One of the things we liked was that there was the residential aged care on site so we had that extra support,” she said.
“After about four years Frank started wandering and we decided to start the process for him to go into residential aged care at Milford Grange.”
Annette, who still lives independently in her Milford Grange unit with Home Care Package services, decided on her Yamba trip after a conversation with her home care team.
The team used discussion cards to talk about what was important to Annette, and noticed her eyes lit up at a picture of a beach side scene. That led to a conversation about returning to visit her old coastal home.
“I can’t drive, so it was just wonderful to be able to go,” she says.
“I hadn’t seen my Yamba friends for seven years, although I have kept in touch with them and we email each other.
“I helped plan the trip and I rang the ladies I used to craft with and some other friends and arranged to see them.
“There’s five beautiful beaches there and my carer Elaine drove me around to all of them.
“We were there from Wednesday to Saturday and I was able to catch up with friends.”
Annette said taking the trip had helped her realise what was possible, and she is already making plans for her next adventure, to visit her son and his family in Mackay.