July 2021: Meet LM – a Rosebank Park resident

LM and her husband moved into her two-bedroom apartment at One Housing’s Rosebank Park scheme in Harwich, Essex, in September 2016. We caught up with her on a less than summery day in June to see if life at Rosebank Park is just as happy 5 years on.

How did you first find out about Rosebank Park?

It was by chance, really. We were just passing by and saw the advert on the railings outside. At the time my husband and I were living in a private rented property in Clacton, about 10 or 11 miles away. My daughter lives here in Harwich so we had come to see her. So, we saw the ad and thought we’d get in touch to find out more. I have osteoarthritis in my spine, along with some other difficulties, which have been gradually worsening over the last 20 to 30 years. My husband has had to a lot for me for quite a long time. I had an assessment with a social worker to see if I qualified for a carer at Rosebank Park and thankfully I did. The location is ideal, especially with the surgery and pharmacy right next door in the hospital. Here, I have a carer for half an hour a day and they’ll take care of pretty much anything that needs doing, even vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom.

How did you find the moving-in process?

It was really easy. The management were helpful and when it came to the actual moving, my sons and grandsons all helped. I just had to give orders and watch the hard work!

How soon did it feel like home?

I think it felt like home immediately. We do still have things in boxes in the spare room, though! Our previous place was a little bigger, so we did have to have a sort-through and decide what we wanted to keep, but you soon realise how much stuff you hang onto that you don’t use or need. It’s really nice here – we’ve got two bedrooms and a lovely lounge and kitchen and a little balcony where I grow some roses and other flowers. We’re on the first floor, but because there are two lifts my mobility isn’t a problem.

What’s it like living at Rosebank Park?

It’s been different since lockdown, of course, because the management have been really good about keeping everyone safe. We’ve had no coronavirus cases here at all and I think that’s down to the management. Now we’re allowed visitors, but everyone has to be tested before they come in, and all the residents here are tested monthly. Because it’s independent living, we can come and go as we please and everyone has been very good with wearing masks in the shared spaces.

Before lockdown we had loads of activities. Management set up a committee for activities and we had all sorts going on: regular fish and chip nights, card games, a knitting group, bingo, raffles, coffee mornings and film mornings. All very sociable. People would always be meeting up in the bar or in the dining room. I can’t wait until all this is over and we can get back to normal again.

It's only a small town here but it’s got all the amenities you need. And we love going for a walk on the piers and the promenade, which are only a couple of minutes away by car.

What do you think of the staff here?

I can’t fault them. We’ve got a lovely lot of carers, all just as good as each other. They’re really helpful, really friendly and as I say, the management have been so careful to keep everyone safe.

If you heard someone was thinking of moving to Rosebank Park, what would you say to them?

I’d say “Try it!” You don’t know until you’re here, of course, but it’s been a lovely place to move to. There’s a really good bunch of people living here, we have some lovely chats and we’ve made a lot of friendships. I would recommend it to anyone.

Thank you, LM, for sharing your thoughts with us; we’re pleased to have you and can’t wait to get all those activities up and running again!