Kerry made a major life change recently when she moved from the family home to a Livability residential care setting. She struggled to settle but now is enjoying life and feeling good. She tells us about tricky times, life, her wellbeing, – and love.
Wellbeing is something that makes Livability stand out as a charity. Making sure the people we support are getting the most out of life is as essential to us as caring for everyday needs.
This is more essential than ever – research shows the ongoing impact on wellbeing, post-pandemic, remains higher than average for people with disabilities* in key areas including anxiety.
Our upcoming Summer Wellbeing Campaign is our invitation to you to grab some free resources to help you better your wellbeing – and to get behind our drive to boost disabled people’s wellbeing.
‘I arrived here in August 2021 and settling in was very hard during lockdown, especially as it had been only me and my mum for years. But we’d had to have that conversation – I’m getting older and my mum’s getting older. I wanted to have my independence and my mum wanted to see me settled and know that I’m ok.
‘The staff were there for the emotional support I needed. There was someone to talk to if I was struggling emotionally. I’m a sociable person so I mentally struggled a lot. It took quite a few months to feel settled. But I could meet with the other residents in that time and they tried to help me settle in.
‘Covid safety was handled very well here. I felt confident with what was in place. My mum can come and see me now, thank goodness; she comes once or twice a week. It was wonderful when they said family could visit again. It was about nine months before that happened. My brother and his family visit when they can – they live a long way away. My family make me feel good. And I have a partner who I met here, Stuart. We were just friends and then things developed.
‘What I love doing is volunteering at Southend University Hospital, five days a week for a couple of hours or so. I’m a patient visitor and go round chatting to people at their bedside. I can pop to Costa and WH Smith and get them things they need. They often tell me I’m an inspiration and how much I’ve helped them and I talk to their families. I love it and find it very rewarding. It was daunting at first but not now – I’ve been doing it for six years. It’s a big part of my life.
‘I know I can have the independence here that I wouldn’t have had once upon a time and that I can do things that I didn’t think I could do. I never used to go out for walks on my own, for instance. Staff have helped me gain confidence and went out with me at first. And I threw myself into it – I think “right, I’m going to do it”, and then I do it!’