Theresa Demanuele Montebello has her father, John Montebello, 86 years old, residing at Żejtun Home, where she knows that he is in safe hands. Therese spoke to CareNet about her father’s experience, and her struggles to cope with being the primary caregiver to her father and having to take care of her own family.

“His health started deteriorating and we were always worried knowing that he is living on his own. At first, he refused the idea of residing in an elderly home because he thought that he was going to lose his independence, his privacy, and all he was used to. After a few months, until he settled down, he came to realise how much he is loved by the carers, nurses, and the other residents and now he feels it is his second home, where he has all the care he needs”.

John’s daughter explains how for the rest of the family, knowing that their father, and grandfather is happy is all they want as there is no price for their father’s happiness, and when they visit him, which happens on a regular basis, they always try and do different things together.

For Theresa, knowing that her father is well cared for meant that she could further her studies, something that her father had always encouraged her to pursue. “When you leave your job to take care of your loved ones, in my case, my father, it was a decision I was happy to make but the fact that once again I could go back to my normal daily routine was not a matter of money but about my mental health. In care homes, there are experts in the field who are trained to deal with certain situations, with specific resident’s needs, and knowing that my father receives that kind of care of attention is all that we ever needed”.

Therese Demanuele Montebello ended her interview with a strong message, “To those who have relatives who need constant care, do not be afraid to accept the reality that your loved ones need professional care. Ultimately, they will have a better life, better care, and above all, they will have love 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”.