Finding love later in life was an unexpected surprise for Grovedale’s Helen Dickinson and Ray Howard.
“Someone asked me recently ‘what did he get you for Valentine’s Day?’, and I said ‘every day is like Valentine’s Day with Ray’, he’s that good’,” Helen said.
The pair connected almost two years ago, after meeting at a Geelong retirement village. Ray’s wife of 45 years had passed, and Helen was living in Victoria after spending time in both Queensland and New South Wales.
Ray said he enjoyed Helen’s easygoing nature, and was keen to build a stronger connection.
“I play in the band at the Country Music Club out at Norlane and when it came my turn to sing I sang two songs ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’ and ‘Please Help Me I’m Falling in Love With You’ and I dedicated both of them to Helen,” Ray said.
“It hit me like a bolt of lightning, and while I’d been married before I never imagined I’d meet someone like Ray, we just get on so well,” Helen said.
Helen and Ray now live together in Grovedale and receive support from a Government funded Home Care Package (HCP) through genU Aged Care services.
Helen has experienced multiple health problems due to an irregular heartbeat, but is feeling the best she has in years thanks to regular medical care and support from her package. Helen has accessed assistance with meals, laundry services, taxi vouchers and house cleaning.
Ray has lost almost 50 kilograms while living with Helen, and is also enjoying the benefits of his package which has given him a new chair and access to a gardener.
“The help we get now with our packages is just awesome,” Helen said.
“We’re really happy because we can live quite comfortably,” Ray said.