Frome Nursing Home is the next step in so many people's journeys. Putting people's stories at the forefront of their care and support is a vital part of the process for Frome Nursing Home. We ensure we know about their past too. Here's a selection of some of our favourite stories of those who live with us.
Wendy was born in Slough but by the time of the Second World War had moved to Surrey, being evacuated to the outside of London during the bombing raids. Her mother was an air raid warden, and Wendy remembers vividly the bombings and carrying a gas mask to school each morning.
Having read Peter Pan as a child, Wendy was obsessed with the idea of flying, just like her namesake Wendy and Peter Pan in the novel. Once she was old enough, Wendy’s ambition was to work for an airline as a pilot, but in those days airlines didn’t employ women flyers!
After the war, still following her dream of flying, Wendy joined the WRAF and worked in an underground bunker control room as a fighter plotter during the Cold War. It was the days before computers, so if you’ve ever seen old war films with the ladies moving units around a big map with long sticks, then you’ll have an idea of what Wendy was doing.
Wendy was determined to achieve her ambition of being a flyer though, and after much persistence and overcoming the gender barrier (one of the first women in the UK to do so), Wendy was accompanying the RAF on flights and eventually learnt to fly as a pilot in her own right.
Over the following years and in between having three children, Wendy worked as a flying instructor, air base manager, journalist, pilot for parachute drops and a writer. Writing and anything to do with flying remain her passions to this day.
But then three years ago, Wendy fell over at home and had a stroke. This profoundly affected her life, paralysing the left side of her body and making her usual daily routine difficult to continue by herself. Her interests such as her writing were overnight more difficult to pursue, if not impossible.
Wendy was also now prone to falls and moved to Sheltered Accommodation. At first, domestic carers visited Wendy at her home, three times a day. But this either wasn’t enough or was too much and despite their best intentions, Wendy was being disenabled by having everything done for her. She wasn’t coping there and needed extra support so she could, as far as possible, continue with her old way of life.
Then Wendy moved to Frome Nursing Home. After a period of adjustment to her new home, Wendy settled into life at Frome, finding that the “staff here are kind and gentle” and that the atmosphere and environment was conducive to feeling genuinely “at home”. In close co-operation with Wendy’s family, Frome Nursing Home has been able to support her to work towards carrying on with her previous interests and daily routines.