December 2020: Meet CK – one of Linden Court’s newest residents

Formerly a social worker and owner of a children’s home, CK moved into her rented one-bedroom apartment on the last day of September 2020.

We chatted with her one bright, sunny morning in late November to find out how she’s settling in.

How did you first find out about Linden Court?

I was living in a one-bedroom flat in Lee Green. I was grateful to have it, but it was tiny. I am waiting for an operation on my knee, which has been delayed because of coronavirus, and the flat was so small I did not have space for a walking frame to help me move around. I could only use a stick, which didn’t help much. There was not much light and so little space. I was uncomfortable and worried and eventually was on anti-anxiety medication. One day, my friend Margaret visited. She didn’t say anything but I could see the tears in her eyes. She came back again, this time with a friend of hers who works at Linden Court, and they told me about it. My daughters were frightened that we couldn’t afford it, but Margaret was amazing and helped with all the applications.

How did you find the moving-in process?

I think the whole process took four to six weeks – I couldn’t wait to move! Usually, moving house is a bit like a bereavement, there is some sense of loss, but this was not like that at all. Moving to Linden Court was like a new dawn. I have even been able to come off the anti-anxiety medication.

Does it feel like home yet?

It felt like home even before I started packing! The first night I slept here was a relief. My daughter and her husband came up from Suffolk to see me and they said it was like a hotel! They were so happy for me. I love it. I have a gorgeous kitchen, with so much storage space. I love to cook, when I feel up to it, and although I can’t stand for long because of my knee and back, I have a kitchen chair to sit in while I cook. In my last flat, I used to open the front door – no matter how cold it was – just to be able to see people. Here I can watch people through the window, as well as the birds. The gardens here are beautiful and well cared for. It’s funny, I never really enjoyed walking when I was able to, but now I wish I could go for a walk and explore. I haven’t been upstairs at Linden Court – I’m claustrophobic so I don’t want to use the lift! – but my daughters have seen it and say it’s beautiful. Perhaps after my knee operation I can use the stairs!

How do you like to spend your time?

Well, I’m a Catholic, so I always say my prayers when I am up. I prepare my own breakfast and enjoy some time to myself in the morning. The staff always accompany me to lunch in the hall, where we socialise; sometimes I like to walk back alone just to prove I’m still independent… After lunch I might play games and chat with the other residents. I read a lot and I don’t really watch films so, while I don’t like to be unsociable, I do like to get back to my books! I write, too, about my life. I find it quite therapeutic to look back to where I came from, how I climbed the mountain to the pinnacle, until slipping back down to the bottom. I don’t miss too much about what I used to have – but I do miss my purple 5-series BMW! It was gorgeous…

Every day is a new day, here; I can’t think of a day when I haven’t been happy to be here.

What do you think of the staff here?

From the very beginning, all the staff were so caring. I look forward to seeing their faces. I know what it is to care for others, and you can see that they really enjoy what they do; you can tell when someone is just doing their job and when someone truly cares. They are wonderful people. When I was working, I was too busy to do housework and I used to have someone do my cleaning. Here, one of the team in particular, Sharon, wouldn’t let me get away with leaving things lying about; she makes sure I put things away in their proper place – and helps me do that – so she can clean. She really keeps me on my toes. I love that!

If you heard someone was thinking of moving to Linden Court, what would you say to them?

I would say: don’t bother having a visit, move in! I am actually trying to encourage one of my friends to move here. It’s difficult for her with the current coronavirus situation, but I hope in the new year she will be able to visit and look around.

It’s so relaxing here. You can even be in pain – as I am with my knee and back – and yet somehow feel comfortable. Every day is a new day; I can’t think of a moment when I haven’t been happy to be here.

Thank you, CK, for sharing your thoughts with us; we’re so pleased you have joined our lovely community and that it already feels like home!