“I lived on my own for fifteen years after my husband passed away. I didn’t mind it so much in the summer, but the winters felt very long. With the cold weather and the dark afternoons, I wasn’t able to get out as much, and it was getting difficult to heat my house. I wasn’t always in the mood to cook for myself, but of course you need a good meal to stay warm in winter.

My eyesight was also deteriorating, so there wasn’t a lot I was able to do at home to pass the time during the winter, such as reading or watching TV. I would look out of the window sometimes and think, “how lonely is this?”

I’ve always lived a varied and full life, and my situation wasn’t allowing me to live life the way that I wanted to. I realised the time was coming for me to get some care. My son was very good and found Henley House for me, and I stayed for a couple of periods of respite to try it out. I enjoyed my stays so much that I decided to move in permanently last year, ahead of the next winter.

I’m very happy here. I have a big group of friends, and haven’t felt lonely for a second. Even if I’m spending time in my room, I like to keep my door open, so I can have a natter with people who walk past. I join in with most of the activities: art class, baking, quizzes in the sky bar, exercise class – I’ve never known the time to pass so quickly.

My first Christmas at the home was in 2022. I was in a jolly mood all day – we had games, stockings on our doors, decorations all over the home, and a lovely Christmas dinner. The staff did their very best for us.

I’ve had a difficult life, a difficult upbringing, and I’ve worked hard. I think I deserve looking after now.”


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