What should have been a happy day, marking the start of an exciting new chapter of family life, turned into a double emergency recently for Susan Godman and her nearest and dearest. Luckily, the dedicated team at Redcot, our residential care home in Haslemere, Surrey were able to help them get back on track. Here, Susan shares her story.
An exciting move for all the family
“We’re a very close family, and were all very excited when joint plans to move to Haslemere started to come together. My daughter, her husband and our grandchildren, plus my husband and I were all moving – from London and Kent – into a property we’d bought. This included a lovely place for my Mum, who is 82 and who has mild dementia.
Mum had put her home on the market and my aunt – who is 85 and has always been like a second mother to me – had also found a retirement bungalow near our new home.
My daughter and her family had just moved in, and my sister had brought Mum and my aunt down to visit and check out the new surroundings.”
The shock of a double emergency
“We’d had a lovely lunch when Mum, who walks using a tripod, tripped on a small step out of the kitchen. We’d all been so careful, telling them to mind the step and keeping an eye on them: we’d literally just turned away for a second. But we knew instantly that the fall was a bad one, and we had to call an ambulance immediately.
We were all in shock, but relieved when Mum was on her way to hospital accompanied by my sister. Then – almost unbelievably – my aunt also had a fall! My poor aunt has osteoporosis; yet again we knew it was a bad accident, injuring her hip and shoulder.
We were devastated – she too needed to go by ambulance to hospital, and they were both there for ten days.
It was so far from the start we’d wanted for them, especially as they’d both given up their former homes to come and be with us! We were also worried that we didn’t have the knowledge or expertise to look after my aunt and my Mum, to help them get back to normal. Their accidents had, understandably, shaken their confidence – my Mum, for example, was terrified of falling again.”
Recovery and respite at Redcot
“Thankfully, someone at the hospital talked to us about respite care and gave us contact details for some local care homes. We started looking, but the moment we arrived at Redcot, we know we’d found the right place.
The rooms were bright and clean – my Mum said that it was like going into a hotel – and all the staff were so lovely and friendly.
But most importantly, the care team at Redcot knew the right way to support and gently encourage them – we felt secure in the knowledge that they were in really good hands. They got them up and walking, telling them “It’s OK, you can do it”, and ensured their dignity was paramount when it came to things like going to the toilet, taking a shower, and getting dressed. The best thing was knowing that, at night, if they needed to get up, someone was always there for them.”
Ready for the future
“Of course, anyone who is recovering from an accident is going to have good and bad days. My Mum became especially close to shift leader Liz Puttock, who was absolutely brilliant with her if she got a bit down or her confidence started to slip back a bit.
Everyone surrounded them with positivity, and both of them couldn’t speak highly enough of their stay: my aunt was at Redcot for three weeks, and my Mum for just over a month. As they recuperated, the care team gave them their confidence back.
It was invaluable, and I don’t know how we would have coped without them.”