In the heart of a bustling little village in the Southeast of Cheshire lives an elderly gentleman named Peter. Peter was (and still is) mad about golf and his local club. He was once a team captain, an informal head of the club and someone who was seen there most days either playing golf, setting up games or organising and supporting events for its members and the people living in the village. He was always there for his lunch and a pint of the best ale.
Peter has lived in the village since his early 30s, having met his wife Margaret in the late 1950s, getting married and moving there in 1963 – he was 30 and Margaret was 26. They didn’t have children but were aunt and uncle to a nephew and two nieces when Peter’s older sister Edith moved close by and had a family.
Peter and Margaret lived a simple and happy life in the village, and he was always up for a laugh. His reputation for being a practical joker was legendary! His sister and brother-in-law often visited – or they spent weekends at each other’s houses until the kids inevitably grew up and went off to college and university.
Then, in 2015, Margaret became suddenly poorly and sadly passed away at the age of 78. Peter found it hard to deal with the loss, and bit by bit, as time drifted by, his health started to take its toll. He and Margaret had always been there, side by side, and suddenly she was gone.
Life after loss
Peter is a very proud man, like many older people. Because he’d always been quite dependent on Margaret for the simple things, like a hot meal in the evening, plenty in the house to keep them going in terms of tea and a bit of cake, or an extra blanket on a cold afternoon in front of the tv, with the fire on, he started to forget to ensure enough food was in the house or that bills needed paying. Or that he needed to take better care of himself.
Then he started to have bother with his legs and stopped going to the golf club so often. He found he got in a muddle about shopping for himself. Doing even some of the more basic household chores became wearisome. He’d forget to switch the heating on when he most needed it, and then he would worry about being able to afford it, even though money had never been an issue. He found it increasingly difficult to ask for help despite still attending the club twice a week for lunch. Peter didn’t like to ask for help, and he didn’t want people to think he couldn’t cope.
The golf club were fantastic and kept an eye on Peter. Other members would suggest visits or offer to pick Peter up for a gentle mini round of golf, a ride on a golf cart to watch a game, or lunch and a pint. But he found it difficult to accept the help, and he certainly didn’t want anyone around the house to see it as untidy as it often was. Life around the club was proving increasingly difficult for Peter, and he started withdrawing.
When challenging times lead to positive changes
When Peter’s niece Myra organised a little birthday celebration for her uncle’s 85th in 2018, she noticed things weren’t right – much more so than she’d initially thought. The party was at the golf club, and a fantastic spread was laid on, but both Myra and her husband, Jeff, noticed Peter was unkempt and a little agitated. When the golf club raised concerns about Peter’s lack of appearance at the club, Myra decided to step in and try to persuade him to let her go to the house and sort a few things out.
Myra could see that the house needed a good clean and tidy, and when she spoke to Peter, it was clear that although he was aware of his frailty, rather than take each day and sort himself and the house out, he just ignored it. It was all too much. The house felt too big, and though Peter had always done his fair share of housework and shopping when Margaret was alive, he didn’t know where to start with just him as the focus. His legs had become increasingly painful, and getting around became more difficult. And he felt incredibly lonely in a house that had been his life for so many years.
Instead of cooking a meal, or even getting nutritional meals delivered every week as suggested by Myra, Peter couldn’t be bothered. Rather than eat a proper nutritional meal (and rarely being at the golf club anymore), he’d eat a sandwich if he was hungry and, although encouraged, he also didn’t drink enough liquids to keep him hydrated.
Myra managed to persuade Peter to let her go round to the house each week to keep it clean and tidy while cooking batch meals for him to defrost and heat up. She also tried to ensure he kept appointments. Jeff did jobs around the house and organised things like the heating timer. But after a while, Myra found Peter hadn’t eaten the meals she had prepared, and he’d infiltrate the heating system to keep it off. She tried to keep an eye on him as much as she could, but with a family of their own and two teenage boys at different stages of their lives, it was taking its toll on both Myra and Jeff. It was a constant worry.
A spark of renewed hope
After several heart-to-heart conversations with Peter, he agreed with Myra that he needed help. He also told her how he felt very lonely in his own home, especially without Margaret, and admitted that he often didn’t feel very bright or energetic. He hugely missed the golf club, and although people there had been incredible with their offers of help, he didn’t know how to get there without having someone pick him up regularly and bring him home again. He couldn’t do it. He felt useless and had lost his confidence.
Peter was also adamant that being put into a care home was something he would never do. Myra agreed it wouldn’t be right for Peter to leave his home. Although he missed Margaret terribly, she knew he wanted to remain there with her memory around him. She started to do in-depth research in the local area into what could be the most appropriate thing for Peter.
Promedica24 live-in care popped up straight away on one of Myra’s searches online. What appealed the most was that they offered friendly, practical, bespoke live-in care for people just like Peter. They laid things out in simple language, and after an in-depth call with the local live-in care director, and care assessment from their Care Manager, Myra knew that that all Peter’s ongoing medical needs would be met. The Care Plan would cover all the issues with his legs – and carers could work with the GP Practice to ensure that ongoing treatments and appointments could be met. With Peter’s blessing (and relief) a live-in carer was organised for as long as Peter felt he needed it.
Regaining independence and happiness again
With a Promedica24 carer at his side, Peter’s life began to revive and bloom! His days no longer felt like a lonely script; instead, they were filled with compassionate assistance, the rediscovery of laughter and silly jokes, and someone who cared for his stories as much as they cared for his wellbeing. His home felt like home again – clean, warm, and lived in. And there was always a decent, nutritional meal for him whenever he wanted it.
He got on very well with his live-in carer, and taking Peter to the golf club became a new routine three times a week. He got to see and spend time with his old (and new) golfing buddies, share jokes and chat about all the good times again. He had a renewed sense of community by getting involved in smaller local groups and fundraising for fun. He felt part of it all again, and people at the club were delighted to see Peter.
A reflection of Peter’s old self has begun to shimmer through once more. His confidence has returned, and he feels much more at home in this latter part of his life than he thought he could with renewed hope for the future. A new chapter has begun.
The promise was simple yet profound. Promedica24 helps people like Peter live comfortably, independently, and happily in their homes, surrounded by memories. It wasn’t just about practical care but dignity, being understood, respected, and loved. They gave Peter the emotional support he needed too, and he really needed that kind of support to overcome loneliness – especially in those quiet moments thinking about Margaret.
Is this a loved one’s story too?
If this story resonates with you, or someone you love, we invite you to get in touch and talk through your care situation to find the help you need.
Later life can be daunting and lonely for many older people living with the challenges that life brings, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right resources and personal care plan, many people like Peter enjoy a life well lived in their golden years.