“Cancel the other visits... this is where I want to live!”

Chris and her mum, Mary, had been seeking a home where they knew Mary would be supported, whilst remaining independent. Chris said, “Mum didn’t need residential care, but she did need help with some aspects of everyday living, including meal preparation. I found that options were quite limited, at least that was until I found Abbeyfield after searching online!”. Chris had found Prestbury House, sheltered housing managed by the Abbeyfield Gloucestershire Society.

Mary and Chris liked the idea of a sheltered house, as if it were a household, but with meals provided. It sounded as though it would be the perfect place for Mary. Upon visiting Prestbury House Chris said “First impressions were of a warm, homely atmosphere. There was a delicious aroma of lunch being cooked, and the cook was busy planning meals for the rest of the week.

“The dining room table was set for lunch where residents sit together to enjoy meals and there was a bowl of fruit on a side table for residents to help themselves to throughout the day. The fresh flowers throughout the house also stuck out to me, they added to the feeling of Prestbury House being a ‘home-from-home’ rather than an institutional environment.”

Upon viewing the bedroom, they were filled with delight. Chris said, ”The room was light and airy, with an en-suite bathroom. It looked recently refurbished! There was a fridge and small sink area for making drinks and preparing snacks in between meal times, it was perfect.”

When heading into the gardens, the pair were overwhelmed by the number of trees, shrubs and flowers making for a colourful, open and welcoming outdoor space. Chris added, “There were areas mum could sit outside in the warmer, summer months, which was great to see.”

After their initial, beyond-satisfactory visit, the pair decided it would be great for Mary to have a ‘trial stay’, to make sure she’d definitely be happy there. Prestbury House warmly welcomed Mary for 4-week trial stay.

Chris said, “On arrival, mum’s room was warm, cosy and welcoming – and the other residents had written her a card to make her feel welcome.

“Within a few days I could see the positive effects living with Abbeyfield was having on mum. She loved having her meals prepared, as well as the social aspect of eating together with other residents (at a safe distance, of course) and chatting with them in the communal lounge.”

With three national lockdowns occurring over the past year, there is no doubt many older people have struggled with loneliness, something we are dedicated to alleviating in older people. Speaking of this, Chris said, “The multiple lockdowns over the past year have been very isolating, so when mum was able to socialise a bit with other residents at Prestbury, it was greatly beneficial to her mental health.”

After a chat, Mary and Chris decided Prestbury House was perfect, with Mary even saying “Cancel the other visits, this is where I want to live!”.

Chris said, “Mum has now made Prestbury House her permanent home. I’m so pleased that she is safe, eating well and socialising, whilst still retaining her independence.

“Mum will never be lonely at the Prestbury House; there is always somebody to talk to, be it the House Manager, member of the team, or one of the residents – it really does feel like an extended family where everyone is made to feel welcome.”

If you, or a loved one, are seeking somewhere to enjoy your retirement, you can search for your local Abbeyfield house by postcode. We’d like to thank Mary and Chris for sharing their Abbeyfield experience with us.

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