We spoke to Maureen, who moved to one of Greensleeves Care’s homes, De Lucy House in Diss, in November 2020. Maureen spoke to us about her experience moving to a care home, what life was like before, and how she is getting on now.
“Life was good for my husband John and myself, until two years after his retirement, when we decided to move back to the countryside after living all our married life on the edge of Cambridge. We moved to Norfolk to a village near to Diss.
I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression two years after we moved, brought on by not being able to settle in my new surroundings. While I had John, I managed my anxiety and depression fairly well, relying completely on him for almost everything.
Then in December 2018 John passed away from cancer. I found myself unable to be in the house on my own during the day and would constantly be out visiting friends or at church to avoid being alone. Then COVID-19 struck, and naturally, there were times when I couldn’t be with anyone, and these were the times when my panic attacks occurred.
On one occasion, I had to go to hospital as I couldn’t get my breathing under control during a panic attack. After examining me, a doctor at the hospital said, “Mrs Barker, the only way you’re going to get rid of these panic attacks is if you go and live among people again.”
People in the local area had recommended De Lucy House to me, so the home manager came to see me and tell me all about this lovely place. She said my psychological needs were just as important as someone with physical care needs. Within two weeks, I moved in!
I felt such a relief and after a few days, I settled down and began to love living at De Lucy House.
When it comes to the staff, seniors and carers, I have been given as much or as little independence as I want or need. My psychologist also helped me decide in what ways my carers could help me. With all the support I receive, I look forward to what God will bring into my life each day.
Since living here, I have started leading a very informal church service for any fellow residents who wish to come. One of our Activities ladies is really supportive and also plays the choral versions of the hymns we are using, on her mobile phone, attached to a karaoke loudspeaker!
I am also active on Facebook and send messages to family and friends twice a week, which I call ‘Maureen’s Ramblings’ where I ramble on about what I have been doing both in De Lucy House and outside of it too.
It took a long time before I saw any reduction in my anxiety and panic attacks, as the slightest things could trigger them, but looking back to last summer and how I was then and how I am now, I am not the same person. In fact, I feel so much more like the person I was before I lost John.
I am blessed in every way by living here in this lovely Care Home and I haven’t once wanted to be anywhere else. ”