Starts at Home stories

31st August 2018

We're supporting the National Housing Federation's 'Starts at Home' campaign. The aim of the campaign is to make sure that people who need extra support always have a home that meets their needs. 

We're very proud to offer a range of supported housing throughout South West London and we're so happy we can share just some of our supported living residents stories with you. 

Doreen and Tony’s story

Doreen and Tony have been living at Calvert Court since March 2018. Previously they were living at the top of a block of flats, on the fourth floor, for over three decades. Due to health issues life for Doreen and Tony in their flat had become increasingly difficult. They contacted RHP after being recommended to get in touch to view some of our retirement schemes. We’ll leave it to Doreen and Tony to tell their story from here:

Doreen says: “As soon as we saw Calvert Court we knew it was the one for us. Sue, our Scheme Manager, was an angel to us during our move and offered endless support. We were over-the-moon when we moved into our new home. As it’s on the ground floor I now feel like I have my independence back as I can go out and do the shopping.

Due to Tony’s ill health it’s a great comfort to me to know that I can pull on the emergency assistance cords within our home if anything goes wrong. I dread to think what would’ve happened if we’d stayed in our old home as we just couldn’t have gone on without the support that we now have. I’ve also been able to buy a mobility scooter and store it here which allows me to go to places I never thought I’d see again.”

Tony remarks that living at Calvert Court has benefited their relationship stating: “It’s been nice to have that reconnection with each other. We get to do things again that we couldn’t do before, go to cafes and shops, even just enjoying the sunshine in the garden together.”

Doreen attributes the move to a shared peace of mind with Tony: “We finally feel safe again. Living here has truly given us a new lease of life.”

Jackie’s story

Jackie has lived at Calvert Court for almost four years. In that time, she has shared her passion for gardening and growing fruits and vegetables with her fellow neighbours. Here’s her story in her own words:

“Put simply, I LOVE gardening. It could be a tree, a marrow, a bush, whatever! I’ll enjoy planting it. It’s something that I’ve found great comfort and peace in doing over the years. It meant when I moved here that it was second nature for me to start helping with the communal gardening.

Over the years this has become an increasingly important part of my life. It has seen me go from one small flower bed in my back garden to two huge fruit and vegetable planters and more hanging baskets than you could swing a cat at!

Why do I do it? Well, it’s a joy for me to see the pleasure that it gives my fellow neighbours. I like sharing the fruits and vegetables that I grow with them to enjoy. It’s also interesting to hear the stories that they have attached to the plants that are blooming as I find they bring back memories attached to the relevant season.

I’m grateful to RHP as they make it easier to stay on top of it all, giving me materials to keep the garden looking its best.”    

Angela, Joan, John and Sally’s story

Last year RHP became the first HA to take delivery of a Tovertafel ‘magic table’.  These ‘magic tables’ create moments of happiness for people living with dementia and all those around them. This is achieved by a system which projects interactive light games that entice people to engage and play. The system was brought into the Dean Road scheme, which offers extra care, as the technology especially benefits people like their residents which includes people with dementia.

Dean Road Scheme Manager, Denise, says the positive effects were instantaneous: “One lady who lives here previously didn’t want to say a word to anyone and had become quite withdrawn. We sat her in front of the table and I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was not only playing the games but she was laughing and interacting with others. It was like seeing a totally different person.

It’s really started as it’s continued. We’ve seen a boost in confidence and social skills in everyone who’s tried it and it’s fun for them! It’s lovely to see friendship groups form through it too just like Angela, Joan, John and Sally.”

One of this particular friendship group, Angela, says that she most enjoys that the games: “are colourful and lively. I enjoy my time with my friends playing the games. It makes me feel really happy.”

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