Albany grandfather Peter Leach has a full fridge and even fuller heart after rediscovering his love of cooking.

The Silver Chain client has been living alone after his wife Lorna went into permanent care a few years ago. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Lorna would come home over the weekend and the couple would enjoy meals and attend church together.

Being away from Lorna and his extended family was very difficult for Peter, who receives home care services from Silver Chain. After local staff learned that Peter was not enjoying the food he was having delivered, they hatched a plan to lift Peter’s spirits; nominating Care Aide Darleen Privett to help the 90-year-old prepare his own meals.

“I love cooking and used to work in a kitchen, so when I heard about Peter’s situation, I was more than happy to help,” she said.
“Each week we put a list together and then I do a big food shop for him, then I come over and we cook meals to last the week,” she said. “He is great – he helps chop vegetables and does prep work and we chat for hours.”

Peter, who expressed his gratitude for Darleen’s visits, said cooking was nostalgic for him.

“I used to help my mother in the kitchen as a small boy,” he said. “I also used to cook with my wife too. Cooking with Darleen brings back memories. She is a very good cook and it is so nice to have the company for a few hours.”

Darleen said it was a rewarding experience that she hoped to continue.

“It gives Peter a sense of purpose and it is also nice knowing he is eating good, nutritious food,” she said. “I love it and he loves it – it is a nice feeling.”

For more information on our in-home care services, visit our Home care page.