Carolyn’s story: placing mum into a nursing home

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Carolyn Knight and her mother.

When one fall too many left her mother Marlin with a serious leg injury, Carolyn Knight was faced with a very big decision about the future.

Marlin Ferguson, who is now 93, lived in her own apartment 30 miles away from her daughter. Over the years she became increasingly frail and suffered a number of falls and bumps. Between Christmas and New Year she fell very badly, lying in her flat for around 12 hours before she was able to raise the alarm. In the process of pulling herself across the floor, she injured her leg so badly she damaged the skin down to the bone.

When Marlin was taken to hospital, the staff said she would need to move into a home which provided nursing care. After doing their research they found Watlington and District Nursing Home in Watlington, Oxfordshire and have never looked back.

Three years on Carolyn says knowing Marlin is there puts her mind at rest. She says: “It’s the reassurance that people are around her. Now I know she’s safe – that’s the biggest thing.”

Speaking about the standard of care she adds: “I know that the staff here treat her so well. From the outside, seeing the care and assistance they give her and they are so friendly. You can’t fault the care here.”

The wound on Marlin’s leg has had to be dressed three times a week since her fall. Carolyn says: “The nursing care is amazing and her leg has never become infected.”

Despite Carolyn admitting there was a “certain sadness” that her mother was moving out of her apartment, she settled into the home very quickly and has an en-suite bedroom overlooking the lawns.

Speaking about how life had changed since moving into the home, which also provides dementia care and intermediate care – for people recuperating following a stay in hospital, Marlin adds: “I was always in my flat and could go two or three days without seeing someone. Here people are around me all the time – it took me a little while to get used to that going from silence! I feel at home now.”

Talking about how she feels about living at Watlington. “I feel very relaxed and very safe - you can’t be unhappy here.”

“It’s the friendliness of everyone – and I love having my hair done every Friday – they have a nice little salon. It makes me feel like I am going to Buckingham Palace!”

Describing the accommodation she adds: “It’s very comfortable. When the grandchildren arrive I wave to them through my window and watch them playing on the lawns.

“The food is also very nice and if you don’t want what’s on the menu you can choose something else.”

Senior nurse at Watlington Josephine Lapuz has cared for Marlin since she arrived.

She says it is really satisfying that the deep wound on her leg had very nearly healed and that Marlin is so settled.

“She is very happy here – she used to tell us a lot about her previous home but she doesn’t now – she is settled and doesn’t want to go anywhere else. Marlin loves chatting and is very sociable – and she absolutely loves having her hair done.”

Josephine says Marlin’s confidence had also improved enormously.

“When she came here she was anxious about getting out and about, but with a little encouragement, one day she just said she was going and she and Carolyn went out for a drive – that was a real achievement for her.”

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