When Mr Brian Cheminant suffered a sudden, acute health condition in mid-2017, it was a shock to everyone.
‘We were living a healthy life, we used to walk to the pub for dinner together,’ says his partner of 28 years, Mr Darrel Ridley.
‘Then suddenly, one day, he was in the Royal Adelaide.’
After spending six months in the health care system, Brian was ‘lucky enough to be moved here [Resthaven Malvern].’
‘This is nice and close to me,’ says Darrel, ‘I can catch a bus, or I can walk here.’
‘I can visit Brian whenever I want to. The staff never tell me to leave.’
Darrel’s daughter says, ‘Dad has always been welcomed by the staff.’
‘They’ve always been very accommodating to Brian’s needs, and dad’s, when he’s here visiting Brian.’
Darrel adds, ‘Yeah, Brian seems happy here.’
‘[Resthaven] has always been ahead of the others.’
Darrel, a teacher by trade but also a talented musician, has taken advantage of his partner’s new address with characteristic enthusiasm.
‘I was a teacher, and I taught in a number of primary schools, moving around a lot,’ he says, ‘But I also did singing and tap dancing.’
‘I was in a group called the “Happy Tappers”, and we used to come out to residential care homes to perform.’
Now, those musical skills are benefiting the residents of Resthaven Malvern.
‘Ever since I can remember I’ve liked performing,’ he says.
‘Growing up, we didn’t have a piano, so I’d go out to the local Methodist church early, and play the church piano.’
‘That’s how I learned to play – I was never formally taught.’
Darrel’s musical talents are very much welcomed in the home, with his energetic piano playing always popular with residents and staff alike.
‘Brian and I have travelled all over – we’ve been to America, all through Europe, Thailand. We’ve been overseas every year.’
‘Everywhere we go, we seem to find great people, we’ve been very spoiled. We’ve done so many things.’
It looks like Resthaven Malvern is no exception.
Let the music continue!