Eventually everyone grew up and had their own lives.
When Pat’s youngest Tony got married, she decided to leave the big family home, and moved to her current house. At that time, Pat was 66. At the children’s suggestion, she began to travel.
“I hadn’t really planned to travel, but it turned out I really enjoyed it. At one stage we all travelled around Europe, London, Venice - all seven of us! I had some great experiences. I went to China, just as it was opening up - that was incredible. I eventually went to India when I was 80. India was great, but I think that finished me off!
“Eight years ago, after a bout of bowel cancer, I needed help for the first time.”
“I was recovering. Anglicare came in and they were fantastic. They got me breakfast and got me showered and got me comfortable for the day. I could never have made it to this grand old age without them! Dare I say it - (much laughter) - they are the wind beneath my wings!
“It’s a bit off-putting if you have someone in your house, and, you know, they’re just doing a job, just paid for their work. The Anglicare girls go beyond that. There’s always been a friendship. Which I think’s important. Very important. You’re glad to see them, and they’re pleased to see you - and they do everything that I need done. Even down to walking my little puppy Montie.
“As I’ve got older, my needs have become greater.“
“Now, I’m 94, and they come every day and look after me. I like to cook but my eyes are a problem now. But it’s great, they come and help me, sometimes we have a good afternoon just cooking together, and I really enjoy that. Sometimes we don’t do any jobs. We just have a lovely afternoon out, and have a coffee and a donut - or a meat pie! If you want, they’ll come and just have a good chat! If I have a problem with a medical appointment on a certain day, or a check up, they will work things round so someone can take me. They always do. The people who look after me are really nice ladies.
“I think Anglicare is a fantastic organisation. They are really the complete package. It’d be shocking without them!
Thank you Pat for sharing your story with us. In some instances, details such as names and places have been changed to protect privacy.