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Born in 1927, local man John White has led a rich life, both professionally and personally, driven by a deep desire to learn and progress. Despite his formal education ending at 12 years old, John found himself managing vast investment portfolios as a director of leading merchant bank Schroder’s, and later at Rothschild’s – a long way from his humble beginnings at 14 as a stockbroker’s messenger boy.
Married for sixty years, John lost his wife three years ago. This great loss, coupled with a catalogue of health issues and spells in hospital left John unable to manage on his own at home. He had a little respite in a care home, and tried out live-in carers, neither of which worked out for him. His niece, Chris, was keen for him to move to her house in Worthing, but John wanted to hold on to his home and independence.
Chris realised the best care for John would be some help at home, with some encouragement and support to meet people and socialise.
‘That was when we found Staywell,’ comments Chis. ‘I contacted them to ask about the services they provided, and before we knew it, Help@Home worker, Alaine, was at the house to assess John’s needs and find out what he wanted. John decided that daily help to prepare a freshly cooked meal and do a little housework would support him enormously. Alaine also suggested that John visit the social centre at Raleigh House a couple of times a week. This would enable him to meet people, have a chat and engage with some of their activities.’
‘We were amazed at how quickly everything was put into place. Within two weeks, the minibus was coming to take John to Raleigh House and his Help@Home workers were cooking delicious meals in his kitchen. This has been a lifeline for John – both the practical support at home and the social interaction – it’s an invaluable service.’
‘And it has provided a great support for me too. I don’t live round the corner, so daily visits from me aren’t possible. It’s a great relief to know that John is getting excellent support from people who genuinely care about his wellbeing.’
John managed to avoid computers throughout his professional life, and like many people, was a little wary of them. Since joining Raleigh House John has been taking IT tuition and now enjoys the full benefits of being online, also taking advantage of one-to-one tuition at home when he can’t make it to the centre.
‘For me, there’s no comparison with the live-in care I experienced,’ says John. ‘I am so impressed by the quality of the staff who visit me. They’ve managed to stimulate my appetite and encouraged me to eat more. They’re always cooking different, tasty meals, and will even water my tomato plants outside.’
‘I’ve also enjoyed getting out to meet like-minded people at Raleigh House – all different, and all with treasure chests of experience. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about going at first, but I’ve always been open to new ideas. I’ve even taken up scrabble for the first time!’
When we experience a major change in circumstances, such as bereavement, ill health or moving house, our mental and physical health and wellbeing can take a sharp turn, and it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Having supported the community for 70 years, Staywell has the expertise and local knowledge to help you choose and access the support that’s right for you. If you or a family member could benefit from a little extra help, contact us today.