Ruth Waddell, Abbeyfield Winchester

Life before Abbeyfield

Growing up, life for Ruth was very different to how it is now. Spending her evenings as a young girl playing games with her family and listening to the radio she said, “The radio was a big thing for us, a great innovation of the time. Today there are so many gadgets to keep children entertained but in my day we played cards and board games.

“It’s something I continued with my own family and now when we get together we all enjoy a game of something.”

After marrying and moving out of the family home, Ruth worked as a typist for her Local Authority.

“I was trained as a shorthand typist but that all but disappeared after a while. The new thing was audio typing, so I joined the police as a civilian. As you can imagine, I heard all manner of things when typing up their interviews – it was such an interesting job.

“Before working with the police I spent my time volunteering and raising the children. I had my own Brownies group, a Ladies Group and helped with community events where we lived. I also spent another ten years volunteering with the Citizens Advice Bureau, another varied role. One day I might have been helping someone buy a car, the next I could be coaching someone through marital issues.”

Life at Abbeyfield

As Ruth and her husband grew older they found certain aspects of their life were difficult to manage, especially as Ruth’s husband was experiencing health issues.

“Small things like doing the food shop or cleaning were becoming very difficult for us - sometimes I’d find I’d left the hob left on after preparing meal. Life in general was becoming challenging so I thought I’d better do something about it.” Ruth Wadell, a resident at Abbeyfield Winchester

Having been part of a choir, Ruth was first introduced to Abbeyfield when she performed at one of our homes.

“I actually thought Abbeyfield was a hotel, it wasn’t until I came inside I realised it was a home for older people. As soon as I walked in I knew this is where I would like to live should be ever be in need of supported living.

“As it turned out, we were in need. I contacted Abbeyfield and they had a ground floor flat we could move into straight away – it was so easy.”

Ruth and her husband first lived at Abbeyfield Sidmouth for four years before moving to Abbeyfield Winchester.

“We have lived at Abbeyfield for five years and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. The best thing about living at Abbeyfield is not having to worry about day to day life; we never had to worry about bills, food shopping, cooking or cleaning – Abbeyfield took all the stress away from us.”

Sadly, last year Ruth’s husband died but with Abbeyfield’s help she was able to gather her whole family to be with them.

“My son lives in California so when my husband’s health deteriorated he came over for 3 weeks and was able to stay with us at Abbeyfield. Because of Abbeyfield my son was able to be with the family and say goodbye to his dad. Abbeyfield went over and above for us, I’m not sure anywhere else would have done that.

“I couldn’t recommend Abbeyfield more, everyone is very friendly the staff are can’t do enough for you. If you’re thinking of moving to Abbeyfield I say do it!”

Read more real stories from Abbeyfield.