Written June 2020.
John Hubert (75), a resident at Renaissance Care’s Glencairn Care Home in Edinburgh, has drafted a letter of thanks to the staff for their support as he plans to move into his own home.
John moved into the private residential home in 2018, and 18 months later, after regaining his health and confidence, John will be living independently once again, moving into a flat near his son.
Below, John tells us about his experience of living at Glencairn Care Home, what it meant to him and what life has been like throughout the pandemic.
John Hubert, 75 years old, born in Lancashire.
“After my wife died in 2011, I decided to sell the house and spend my time travelling the world by land, sea and air, staying in hotels or renting holiday homes.
“Unfortunately, two years ago, I had a reoccurrence of prostate cancer and developed some neurological mobility problems which put an end to my traveling. I decided to settle in Edinburgh and rented a flat in town, so I could be as near as possible to my eldest son who lives in the Borders. The problems with my mobility increased and it was becoming unmanageable at night on my own, cumulating with an emergency ambulance call and a spell in hospital.
“So, 18 months ago I decided to move into a care home where I could feel more secure and get physical help when I needed it; also, to make my family more comfortable that I was looked after and well. I chose Glencairn because it was in the same area I was already living in and it was a care home, not a nursing home. To me the home is not dissimilar to a good hotel: it’s very well appointed and has good in-house services (food, laundry, cleaning etc), where I could retain as much independence as possible.
“I have been here for almost two years now and the expectations I had when I moved into the home have been more than met the whole time.
“For anyone moving into care it can be a shock; losing a home or, in my case, independence; realising that you are old and increasingly dependent on those around you can be tough. However, for me that quickly eased, helped in time by the exceptional care I received. The staff continually adapted to my needs as I went through a personal journey of declining health which eventually saw me having to take use of a wheelchair and needing assistance in the bathroom. Fortunately, in the last few months there has been a significant improvement in my health, particularly in my mobility, which has meant I now feel able to live more independently and move into a flat close to my son.
“In going through the process of decline and rebuilding my health I have been supported by every member of staff here. Not just the carers who are here day and night, but the chef who has constantly changed my diet-plan to find one that suits me; the domestics who clean and do the laundry and constantly checked I was ok or needed anything; the handyman who helped move furniture around, changed the bed, the chairs and would pop in just to say hello; and to the manager, who always took time for a chat at least once a week. Without question they have all supported me, always cheerful, always kind, no matter how odd my requests were. It was never a question of “we don’t do it like that” but “how can we meet your needs?”
“Will I miss the home? Yes. Especially all the people who have helped and cared for me there, and, to some degree the great sense of security I had knowing they were there, even in the small hours of the morning. I will miss my rather special room which has a separate turret room with six wee windows and views all around Edinburgh where I could meditate undisturbed. And of course, I’ll miss that bit of banter with the staff and residents.
“Clearly the home has been affected by the Covid-19 virus. While the home has been very successful in containing the virus, it’s been a difficult time for both the staff and the residents with residents isolated in their rooms, no communal activities or eating – everyone has had to adapt to a new normal. As I leave, the gradual easing of isolation, whilst maintaining social distance and the reintroduction of some activities, is being very well managed - characteristic yet again of the good management and the flexibility of the staff. I am confident everyone will get through this crisis and be able to feel proud of what they achieved.
“So, time to move on with grateful thanks to all at Glencairn. For me Glencairn has seen me through a crisis and fulfilled all my expectations and more. Thank you.”
Glencairn is a bespoke private residential home offering its resident’s accommodation akin to that found in a small boutique style hotel. It is centrally located in the Grange/Marchmont area of Edinburgh, with the Meadows and local amenities situated close by.
Earlier this year, the private residential home, located in the Marchmont/Grange area of the capital, was named ‘sector leading’ after receiving the best grading of any care home in the local area. Glencairn Care Home staff were praised in the review by the care inspectorate for their ongoing commitment to maintaining each of the residents’ independence with a focus on their wellbeing.