When Gail Holmes moved to Hagley Road Village it felt as if a weight was lifted from her shoulders. Her husband Paul is now receiving care every day and that has made a difference to both their lives.
Paul is in a wheelchair, ever since he had a stroke in 2000. Gail gave up work to look after him, but the burden was taking its toll. ‘I was feeling very stressed. I didn’t know how much longer I could cope, doing it on my own,’ says Gail.
‘I used to go to bed, thinking that I had to face it again the morning. It was physically tiring and emotionally draining.’
It was also worrying for their family. ‘My two daughters both work and they have families, it was difficult for them. If we had a problem we had to call on them.’
The family came up with a solution - Gail and Paul were going to sell their home, their daughter and her family were going to sell theirs and they were going to live together. ‘I was at rock bottom, not knowing what to do,’ says Gail. ‘It seemed like a good idea, but I do think with hindsight it wasn’t the ideal thing to do. We would have been a burden to them.’
Then Gail heard about ExtraCare retirement villages and decided that would be the best option. ‘I think this is far better for all of us,’ says Gail.
The couple, who are both 67, moved in last October and haven’t looked back since.
‘We have our own home, we have carers who are very good, we have entertainment and we have people to talk to if we want to,’ says Gail. ‘It has completely changed life for the better.
‘I do Tai Chi, I am learning to play bowls, we go to the concerts and we can have a drink at the bar. Paul is so much better since we moved here. Here he gets a break from me and can talk to other people. He has so much more freedom. He couldn’t go out on his own before, but here he can go into the communal areas in safety.’
Carers now come in four times a day. They hoist him out bed, help him to shower, dress and get into his wheelchair. ‘That makes such a difference to me,’ says Gail.
Their daughters also know they don’t need to worry. ‘They can see we are much happier here,’ says Gail.
‘It’s like being on holiday.’
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Lucy Henson, Communications Officer
0789 105 3062
Richard Tower, Communications Manager
0772 055 3658