Respite Care: The Simple Solution Saving Australian Families

on the Wednesday, May 15, 2019

If your elderly parents needed support after time spent in hospital or a fall at home, would you be able to care for them? It’s impossible to know what your life will look like as you age, but it’s probable that at some point the health system will play a vital role in your well-being. The people who care for you can make a tremendous impact, whether it be a routine check-up or a medical emergency.

About two weeks ago, Gold Coast resident Jonathan Layton’s life turned upside down. The 80-year-old widower, who was born in England, worked as a sales executive in one of the world’s biggest oil companies and Britain’s Royal Mail until he retired.

“Looking back at it, it was very interesting,” he reflects.

He moved to Australia 15 years ago to be closer to three of his children and has immersed himself into the community as an active and passionate volunteer.

“Marathons, golf tournaments, you name it – I was a volunteer. One thing I do every Saturday is we have a 5km run, Park Run, in Paradise Point on the Gold Coast. I was one of the organisers. We get a lot of people, sometimes up to about 200. The good weather helps.”

Then one day he suddenly went into cardiac arrest.

Mr Layton was treated at Gold Coast University Hospital, but due to the seriousness of his condition, he couldn’t immediately return home when he was discharged. Unsure of what to do, his son made a series of enquiries, and eventually settled on Aveo Freedom Aged Care in Tweed Heads.

It’s his first time in an aged-care facility, but he says the experience has been “marvellous”.

“I’m here for about three weeks to recuperate,” Mr Layton tells the Daily Telegraph.

“It’s been excellent, I couldn’t imagine a better place. As far as living accommodation goes, it’s first-class. As far as care goes, I know that if I ever had a problem, they’d look after me.”

So far, his recovery is going well, but he’s been careful not to overdo it. He laughs when he says he’s spent the majority of his time going on short walks and reading.

“Not 5km walks every morning, just short walks,” he says.

“All of the kids have been up to visit, they live in Main Beach, Paradise Point and Hope Island. I’ve got five grandkids here, one in England,” he says.

“I think the whole experience has just made me realise that people are very kind.”

Click here to learn more about respite care at Aveo

Original story was published on