Derek is 78. He has lived all of his life in Leeds and moved to Belle Isle in South Leeds in 1949 where he lived in a flat on the same road for most of his life.

Derek had remained fairly independent up until last year but began to struggle quite a lot as he started to experience some falls and angina and found he couldn’t walk very far or get to the shops without calling a taxi.

Over the last 12 months Derek took ill developing cataracts in both eyes and a tumour on his head. In November 2019 Derek went into St James Hospital to get the first of his cataract operations done. After the operation he spent some time in hospital recovering before returning to St James to have his tumour operated on in January 2020. As the successful operation was near completion Derek suffered a heart attack. During his recuperation at St James it was suggested to Derek that he consider a respite stay somewhere that could support him on his road to recovery.

After reviewing a list of options and hearing good reviews from local friends and visitors in the hospital Derek chose Westward Care’s Pennington Court residential offer as the place he’d like to go to get some respite and support on the road to recovery.

Supported by his social workers Derek moved to Pennington Court and got a full package of care and support to help him recuperate. During this time, he also had a cataract operation on his other eye. Whilst the original plan was for Derek to find a new home in a Sheltered Accommodation complex Covid mean that Derek ended up spending longer than anticipated being supported by the residential care team at Pennington Court.

However, it did mean that when an Extra Care Apartment at Pennington Court came free Derek could be quickly assessed, get support from his social worker to review his finances and affordability and move into his own independent living apartment in the same complex he had become familiar with during his convalescence.

Derek moved into his new home in September 2020 and is back to living independently – with the reassurance of care and support on-hand if he needs it.

The team at Pennington Court supported him in the first few weeks to get back to cooking for himself (apparently, he makes great Italian food and the best dumplings) and he now cooks all his own meals! Since moving from residential care, he has also taken on responsibility for taking his daily medication himself using a dosette box. He also benefits from having other Apartment residents to chat to and keep him company and often pops into the Apartment communal lounge to watch TV or say hello to his friends. Carers from Pennington Court also support him to go out once a week and get his own shopping.

“I’d been thinking about Sheltered Housing as an option as I was starting to struggle at home and I’m so happy to have moved to my own independent apartment here at Pennington Court. It’s a great choice. Half the battle is the people and whether you get on with them – but I get on champion with all of them so that’s great.”
About Pennington Court 
Based in the convenient location of Beeston, Pennington Court has a long-standing reputation for excellence and has been widely recognised with awards and accolades, including the Quality Hallmark Award for End of Life Care under the Gold Standards Framework.

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"Moving here has been my salvation. Knowing that help and support is always on hand has removed all of the anxiety I used to feel and it has meant that I can now get on with my life with very little support at all. Everyone involved in getting me here has been absolutely fantastic, patient, caring and kind."
Apartment resident, Pennington Court