Staying in your own home need not be a daunting prospect. Beatrice Adamson, who celebrated her 100th birthday with a huge celebration in February, is proof of that.
Spirited, with a great sense of humour, Beatrice still lives happily in her own home. She enjoys conversation with her friendly neighbours, reading, housework and well-deserved sleep. Beatrice is still active and mobile, insisting “my legs can run around like a racehorse with my walker.”
With eldest daughter, Greer Thompson, just around the corner and other family and friends close by, Beatrice feels very well supported. “I’ve got the best family in the world. I’m a very lucky lady,” she tells Mamamia.
Beatrice is also visited by staff from Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Help at Home Services, who provide companionship while helping her with showering and housework.
“They’re all such lovely people. With the care I get from my family and Anglicare, I’m as happy as a queen,” she says.
The support and connection offered to her mum is a source of comfort for Greer.
“It also allows me to spend more quality time with mum, which is what I value most,” she tells me.
Greer and Beatrice enjoy weekly picnics, shopping trips, outings to shows and people-watching over cups of coffee.
Born on February 2nd, 1918 in Fairlie, New Zealand, Beatrice has lived in Southern Queensland since the 1970s. Her earliest memories are of her happy childhood in New Zealand.
“I was brought up in the country around animals and I remember all of that,” Beatrice recalls. “I had a wonderful childhood. I really did. My granddad bought me a pony and I named him Nibby. My grandfather used to ride this great big draft horse and I used to ride beside him on wee little Nibby.”
Beatrice first married during World War II and had a son with her husband. And while their union didn’t survive, something else was waiting just around the corner for her.
She met John, who became her second husband and “the love of my life”. They went on to have seven children together. As well as her eight children, Beatrice counts 37 grandchildren and great-grandchildren to date.
What’s Beatrice’s secret to longevity and good health? Happiness and good food. She recalls the way she made most of her own food and the family lived off the property, hardly ever getting sick.
Her happiest moment? Meeting and marrying John. Though life has been also tinged with some deep sadness. Beatrice lost a cherished daughter and son, which profoundly affected her - but she is philosophical.
“You have to live on, you know? Even though you never get over it,” she says.
Beatrice doesn’t have many regrets but, given the chance, she would have travelled more.
“I’ve travelled a little bit, to New Zealand and Thailand which was incredible,” Beatrice says. “I went on a cruise for my 95th birthday with my two daughters and a few of my granddaughters. It was great fun. I’d like to go to England to visit the Queen. I got a telegram from her for my birthday, so I’d like to go and say, ‘Thank you, Liz!’” And, there’s that sense of humour!
In a world consumed by technology, is 100-year-old Beatrice on social media? “I’m mind boggled with it all and I’m not interested,” she says. “I must be the only one in the world.” Though she admits she’s very grateful for mobile phones, which allows her to keep in touch with grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live further away.
Beatrice is happy that she gets to live her life on her own terms, thanks to the flexibility of Anglicare’s Help at Home Services.
For some clients, this may mean help with mowing the lawn or transport to the shops. For others, it may be clinical support.
Anglicare has offered a helping hand for more than 140 years, providing community, connection and the support to live independently.
For Greer, the service is invaluable. “It helps my sister Hillary and I immensely,” she says. “We know that mum’s being taken care of whilst she’s at home on her own.”
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Anglicare Southern Queensland.
To see more about how Anglicare supports Beatrice to live in her own home visit www.anglicaresq.org.au/