First celebrated in 1908, Mother’s Day provides us all with the opportunity to say thank you. Thank you for always being there and being the shoulder to cry on that we all occasionally need.
Pamela May Woodward is a resident of The Royal Star & Garter Home in Solihull and her daughter has kindly written about her experiences of growing up with her Mum and the care she receives at Solihull.
Mum was always such a busy and active lady, I don’t remember her keeping still for long. She married my father, who was in the Royal Navy when they were both 19 and lived in Singapore for a few years, during which time I was born. She worked hard all her life and while we were growing up I always remember coming home to a warm house, with mum busy preparing dinner for us all. As a treat we would have Arctic Roll for pudding, which always went down well.
She’s faced several challenges during her working life, from making fishhooks at home to waking up at 5am to run a market stall in Redditch; she would always do what she could to support the family. In her spare time Mum was an avid seamstress and would make us new dresses and different things to enhance the home.
Mum has always had a love of music, particularly the rat pack, Dean Martin and Co, as well as Elvis Presley and Country Music. She always enjoyed dancing and was very good at the roll ‘n’ roll with Dad. Our favourite memory is when she was ‘boogying away’ to Abba’s Dancing Queen down the local club on her ‘75th’ Birthday after being driven in a Limousine to a restaurant for her Special Day, which was organised by the family as a surprise. We are so glad that we arranged this as sadly she had a massive stroke in October 2012 and everything changed for all of us.
Mum spent several months in two different hospitals, one a rehabilitation hospital where she did show a sign of improvement. Unfortunately, this was short lived and we were informed that we would need to find a nursing home, which provided 24-hour nursing care. A very kind, ambulance lady mentioned The Royal Star & Garter Homes and I called them up but was told there was no bed available at this time and we transferred Mum to a nursing home in the local area but she did not settle well as it did not suit her individual needs.
We were not deterred and eventually got Mum transferred to The Royal Star & Garter Home in Solihull in March 2013 when a vacancy became available. Everybody made her feel so welcome and she still enjoys conversing with the staff who always ensure that she looks clean, well presented and attend to her nursing needs on a daily basis. The Home is also close by for my father to visit. A caring elderly ex-naval gentleman takes him over each time and has formed relationships with some of the residents who were infact on the same ship (small world)!
As I live abroad, I converse with the staff by email and any concerns are followed up, I can also ring Mum and have a little chat when she is not sleeping which is comforting. She thoroughly enjoys being wheeled around the lovely garden area, which my father was able to do last year. A lot of thought has gone into layout and it is set out well with wheelchairs in mind and lots of colours for residents to see whilst sitting and some even grow their own vegetables too.
When a loved one has to go into care, it is a very difficult experience for the person who is poorly and cannot make the decision for themselves, also the family. There is an abundance of paperwork to complete, meetings to attend, timescales to meet, visits to conduct, but most important is finding the right one for your loved one as you want the best for them. We would unreservedly recommend The Royal Star & Garter Homes to anyone looking for a truly caring home from home for their loved one.