Service user blog: meet Helena

My name is Helena, and I have lived in Maypole Grove for a while now. Originally from Newcastle, here is my story…

I’m 90 years old, so grew up during World War 2 – my family were quite poor, and there was a shortage of everything. I had an older sister, and each morning we both had to go to work and not come home until later in the evening. Our parents would group our wages together in order for us to survive – I was 14.

We couldn’t travel much after the war; but when we did take a mini-holiday to Coventry, I met my future husband. We began writing to each other when I returned home and later became engaged. After 12 months we married in Newcastle, and moved to Coventry.

We lived in a beautiful house for 25 years with our daughter, and then moved into a bungalow which I really loved. We worked hard for money whilst our daughter was growing up – my husband even stopped smoking to save! We finally got chance to travel and took holidays to America – 12 times! – Hawaii, Thailand, Germany and celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in Cairo.

My husband passed away a few years ago, and soon after I was unable to look after myself independently. I had to move into a care home – I lived in 14 different care homes before I found Maypole Grove! I hated all the homes I was placed in, Maypole is by far the best – after all, I’ve stayed.

Staff at Maypole Grove help me with personal care, take me to the shops for my newspapers and walk with me outside so I can get my fresh air. I used to love playing Bingo, so I’m grateful for the staff taking me to the local community centre and Bingo halls so i can play. They also help me with other things; such as buying items online to give to my family for birthdays and Christmas.

Although I don’t think I will be able to walk again, I am getting closer to taking a holiday abroad – and taking a carer with me of course. I have been to Malta before, it is so lovely and peaceful so I would quite like to go back there.

I don’t think it will be long before I get to go, and I also don’t think it would be possible if it weren’t for everyone at Maypole Grove.