Pat, (90), is one of our treasured residents. The reason we are telling her story here is because she wanted us to.
"If you are reading this, chances are you or your loved one are exactly where I was about 18 months ago. At that time I’d had a fall at home. The doctor told me I was too frail to live on my own. All I could think about was losing my independence. It can be lonely living on your own but at least you’re free to do what you want, even if you don’t want to do anything! My daughter said I could stay with her till we found somewhere where I could get looked after properly. To be honest, all I was worried about was Pixie, my little Fox Terrier. I wasn’t going anywhere without her!
Anyway, one day my daughter found a place that wasn’t far from where we lived. When we got there I was quite surprised because everyone seemed quite happy! I wasn’t expecting that. You always think of aged care places as…well, horrible, don’t you? But this place even had a bar and picture theatre! And if you had a partner, you could stay there together. And then they showed me the unit I would live in if I went there. It really was beautiful. It even had a front door so I could shut everyone out if I wanted to and I could have my friends and family come to stay with me. Best of all I could bring Pixie. The nurses were lovely, I could get the personal care I needed - and yummy meals if I didn’t like cooking.
Now look at me - I’m now one of the happy faces I saw when I first came here! I’ve made wonderful friends, we have lots of fun together and, most important of all…I’ve still got my freedom!
So if you’re reading this, please don’t be afraid. We’re all on this ageing journey and, though it may not seem like it just yet, it really can be a wonderful time of life. If I have any regret at all it’s that I wish I’d heard about freedom years ago, when my husband was alive."