Brightwater Inglewood - Where Families Feel At Home7 min read
When Marion Urfig arrived at the beach in Durban with a girlfriend on Christmas Day 1966, it marked the beginning of a love story that has spanned fifty-six years and two continents. A love story that has withstood the challenges of growing older.
Marion says she will never forget her first sight of the young Israeli man who would become her husband.
“All I remember was this very tanned young man, sitting on the beach surrounded by a bevy of beauties and he had this big sombrero hat on,” she says.
The two instantly connected on that South African beach and three months later, they were married. Within three years, their family grew to five. Coincidentally, their first daughter was born on Christmas Day the year after they met. Twins - a boy and a girl - were born 22 months later. The family enjoyed a happy life in South Africa for many years. However, in the late 1990s, they decided to emigrate to Australia. They initially moved to Melbourne for seven years before eventually settling in Perth.
Through it all, the bond between Marion and Meir remained unwavering.
“I'm a very emotional person and Meir is exactly the opposite. His weaknesses were my strengths and my weaknesses were his strengths so the fit was there,” Marion explains.
However, recent years have tested them both. Meir’s health and mobility declined after several falls, and last year Marion realised she could no longer provide him with the care he needed at home. The family wanted a home for Meir that would provide him with the care and support he needed, while allowing them to be an integral part of his life.
Marion says as soon as she toured Brightwater Inglewood with her eldest daughter Erit, they knew they had found the right place.
Purpose built for living well
Brightwater Inglewood is located within a purpose built three storey building, overlooking the Inglewood triangle, a pocket of bushland that is home to the area’s natural flora and fauna. The ground floor houses the head office and world-class Brightwater Research Centre, as well as a gym, hairdresser and coffee shop. The residential aged care services occupy the two upper floors, with state-of-the-art private rooms and ensuite bathrooms, landscaped courtyards and spacious communal areas. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views over the surrounding parklands and golf course.
Every effort has gone into creating and maintaining an environment where Brightwater’s residents and staff can enjoy a sense of peace and wellbeing.
A New Chapter Begins
Meir moved into Brightwater Inglewood last October and for Marion, the transition from being his full-time carer has been easier knowing she made the right choice for her husband.
"For Meir, this is the best home next to his own home, and every night, I go to bed feeling incredibly grateful that he is here,” she says.
Marion visits Meir six days a week. She often takes him for a walk outside, finding a picturesque place to sit and enjoy listening to music together while Meir eats the fresh berries she brings for him. Although their circumstances have changed, their marriage is still the glue that holds them together.
"I haven't lost my husband; he is alive and here, just five minutes away from me. I'm still married, just in a different way,” says Marion.
Like her husband, Marion feels welcomed at Brightwater Inglewood. As a regular visitor, she has come to know and appreciate the entire staff, describing them as “amazing”. Although her husband can no longer communicate verbally, Marion knows he is settled and happy in his new home. She attributes this to the strong sense of community and supportive relationships they have both developed at Brightwater Inglewood.
It is the foundation for happiness and wellbeing that Marion wants for her husband who will always be, for her, the vital young man she fell in love with all those years ago on a beach in South Africa.
“It’s the people. That, for me, is everything. Personally, speaking for myself and my family, we will always be eternally grateful for what we have at Brightwater Inglewood.”