Home help warms the heart and fills the stomach

 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.

Darleen and Peter

Care Aide Darleen Privett and Silver Chain client Peter Leach

“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.

Media Contact

Montana Waters | Media Officer
T 08 9208 8310 | E Montana.Waters@silverchain.org.au

About Silver Chain Group



We are a not-for-profit organisation delivering community health and care services across Australia. We help people of all ages to receive the care they need to remain happy and healthy at home.

We have a proud history of serving Australians for over 110 years in Western Australia and more than 120 years as RDNS in South Australia. We currently deliver our services in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

With over 4,000 staff and 130 volunteers, we assist more than 100,000 people to remain living in their homes and community every year.

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