Kathryn’s Story

In February 2023, at the age of 94 my mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Before my mum went into care, we were struggling. Mum was very brave, and she did try to manage living at home, and as a family, we had put everything in place to try and keep her at home for as long as possible, but physically there was only so much we could do to ensure her safety.

While mum was still living at home, I would take my phone to bed with me just in case she needed me in the night. Nights at this time were filled with worry as there were no carers overnight. I would go to sleep hoping that she was okay. It was a relief every morning when I could see that the carers had logged in to confirm that they had arrived.

Mum ended up having to go into the hospital as her condition worsened. However, the hospital decided that mum’s body wouldn’t handle undergoing a major operation. During her time in the hospital, we made the decision that there was no way she could go home. She was too vulnerable and at risk of falls – it just wouldn’t have been safe.

We started looking for Care Home options locally, I had worked in care my whole life so knew what I was looking for.The hospital called and suggested King William Care Home, I had already heard good things about this home from a friend, but as a family, we were concerned about the financial side.

My sister and I went to the hospital together to visit mum. When we arrived, we met Emily and Diane – the King William Management team – who were with mum doing the assessment for her potential move to King William. We could tell right away that they had bonded with mum because everyone had smiles and seemed comfortable. It was like seeing a new lady as prior to this, she had been very down and worried about what was next for her. I did warn both Emily and Diane that mum tended to get up a lot at night, but nothing seemed too much trouble for them.

On mum’s first day at King William, she had just arrived from the hospital after a long wait for discharge and a journey to King William. I called her to see how she was doing, expecting that she’d probably be feeling low after such a long day, but to my surprise, it was the opposite. I remember the phone call well – she said, “Oh Kathryn, it’s lovely. They are ever so nice. Emily and Diane have been up to see me. It’s a beautiful place, Kathryn.”

My mum had originally gone in for respite care, but right away it was clear she didn’t want to leave, she was saying, “I’m staying, aren’t I? I won’t have to go anywhere else, will I?”

After three weeks, the social worker came, and mum was crying, saying that she didn’t want to leave. The social worker reassured mum that she would do her best to keep her at the home, and the funding continued from there.

Over the six months that she was at King William, mum flourished. She got involved in activities and started getting her nails done, which she absolutely loved! She seemed so happy, and she would talk about what she had done with so much joy. For example, when she had gone for a spa bath at Heanor Park, she couldn’t stop talking about it – it was so lovely!

She was alive again. She got her life back for her last six months. I couldn’t recommend King William enough!