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CARE HOMES – THE TRUTH: Help from the home was a ‘huge relief’

Settling in: Susan England with her mother Mollie Bennett and her sister Maggie Robinson

Settling in: Susan England with her mother Mollie Bennett and her sister Maggie Robinson

In the third and final part of our series on care homes run in collaboration between the Lancashire Evening Post and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), we focus on the many families who feel reassured by the quality of care their loved ones receive.

While the realisation of having to put a loved one into a care home may be painful, many families feel reassured by the quality of care they receive.

Susan England explained the process of finding an appropriate home for her mother and aunt.

“It’s been a huge relief and it makes us feel reassured that people there are doing their best for them”, said Susan.

She and her sister, Christine, chose a care home for their mother and aunt, 100-year-old Mollie and 104-year-old Maggie.

They moved to Melrose Residential Home in Leyland earlier this year and Susan explained the reasons behind the decision.

She said: “One was location, because it was in the town that they both lived in and they still know a lot of people.

“It was right next door to St Ambrose Church where my mum has been a life-long and active member, and a lot of people in the church are still very fond of her and go to visit her.

“Melrose is quite small, and the carers that we met and spoke to were very professional and very matter-of-fact, but came across as being very caring.

“Initially I was thinking ‘look at the wall paper, it really needs decorating’ and all those sorts of things, but I tried to look beyond that and in the end it was about the level of care.

“They seemed to engage with people there.”

Susan, 67, who now lives in Chichester, said she and her sister found the situation difficult, but were reassured by the care their relatives received.

She said: “To be making decisions for somebody like that, which are going to affect the rest of their lives however long or short, is very difficult.

“It’s come across that I think they are in a state of partial mourning for the loss of their independence, and other people in care homes must go through the same.

“But it’s not about the care home, it’s about the process of ageing and people living as long as they are doing now.”

She described the help of the home as a “huge relief” and said: “I can’t fault them.

“They have been very good about keeping in touch with us - if they’ve had to call the doctor out they tell us immediately.

“Of course it’s not going to be the same as if it was me looking after them 24 hours a day, but I can’t do that so I’m reassured that they have got the level of care as high as it can be for their situation.”

Melrose manager Julie Saunders said: “I find that in Melrose, every one of my residents is treated as an individual, a human being, someone who has lead a full and exciting life.

“An individual who always has a story to tell.

“We feel that admissions to a care home should be dealt with empathy and kindness.

“The person will need plenty of reassurance at this uncertain time, making their new rooms feel as homely as possible.

“Adding personal belongings and furniture helps to make them feel more at ease.”

She added: “When the ladies moved into Melrose, the transition period was quite difficult as they were separated at the beginning.

“Mollie came to us first followed by Maggie.

“Mollie missed her sister very much as they had lived in sheltered housing together for many years, in separate flats, but looking after one another until things became difficult for them both and their families.

“The decision to move into a care home was a difficult decision, as both ladies have lived independently for many years.

“Making changes to your life at the age of 100 and 104 is traumatic, but the team at Melrose have hopefully made this as smooth as possible, giving the support and care that both ladies need at this stage in their lives, in a warm, caring and comfortable environment.

“At this time, the staff at Melrose are still getting to know Mollie and Maggie. I am sure that their life at Melrose will be a happy, safe and comfortable experience.”

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