Margaret came to live at Cotman House following a hip replacement operation. Having previously had two heart attacks as well as mobility difficulties, she was finding shopping and running her home increasingly arduous. She also knew that her two daughters were constantly worried about her living on her own.
Now, instead of struggling to keep up with the housework, buy and prepare food, or put out the rubbish, she has the peace of mind that everything is taken care of. She says that she didn’t realise how much she was neglecting her home until she took the decision to make the move into a care home and realises that she couldn’t have coped after her operation, even with several members of her family close by.
But far from losing her independence, Margaret believes she has gained the freedom to spend each day as she chooses. Within a short space of time, having arrived at Cotman in a wheelchair, the 86 year old was able to walk without a stick. Although happy with her own company, Margaret likes a chat and has made a number of friends. She’ll often take a walk in the well-stocked garden, along the paths to see other residents. That’s when she’s not entertaining her own frequent visitors – both family and friends – in Cotman’s café.
Aware of its good local reputation, Cotman House was the clear choice for Margaret. With her love of the sea and ships, she knew as soon as she visited that she would feel at home as her room has a sea view beyond the garden. On fine days during the summer, Margaret will open the doors and sit on the balcony outside her room watching the ships go by, reading or doing the crossword and enjoying a coffee. Residents are encouraged to personalise their room and Margaret’s is decorated with embroidered and tapestry pictures, photos and her own chair.
Margaret starts each day with breakfast in her room, choosing from a wide selection on the menu, which includes traditional cooked foods as well a lighter options. Like other residents, she regularly meets with the Chefs, Kevin and Steve, to discuss her preferences and appreciates the quality and variety of the meals.
As a former nutritionist working in the catering industry, she enjoys these conversations and is happy that her particular dietary requirements are carefully considered and accommodated by the knowledgeable and committed hospitality team. At lunch times, Margaret shares a table in the dining room with five other residents, her choice of meal made the previous day.
A well-considered activities programme sheet is delivered to each resident weekly, and Margaret will often take part in several of the organised social events, choosing those that appeal and talking over her preferences with the activities team. She enjoys quizzes, which she says keep her brain moving, and visits from local entertainers. The regular chair exercise class is another favourite, as are outings such as a recent trip to the beach. On other days, she may have her hair done by a visiting hairdresser or welcome her minister who travels from Ipswich to see her.
Margaret also takes an active part in residents’ meetings where views are expressed and any requests discussed. From the Maintenance Officer to the Care Assistants and Home Manager, she finds the team always kind and helpful, responding quickly to any wishes, leaving Margaret to enjoy her new lease of life.