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The Best Recovery I Could Have Asked For

One South Shields retiree leaves hospital for a brand new McCarthy Stone apartment

News and community
Posted 22 October 2020
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The Best Recovery I Could Have Asked For

In May, Gwen Goodsir from Hebburn, suffered a nasty fall at home leading her to fracture her pelvis. Earlier that month she also lost her beloved husband, David, very suddenly.


During a 15 week stay at Haven Court, part of South Tyneside District Hospital during the height of the pandemic, daughter Denise realised that her mother would be unable to return to the family home of 56 years. It was a three bedroom property with stairs so Gwen and Denise faced the daunting prospect of whether to make costly moderations to the home, or make the emotional decision to move to somewhere more suitable for her needs. 

Just three weeks later, Gwen is living in a brand new apartment at McCarthy Stone’s Seymour Court Retirement Living development in South Shields, with all the latest mod-cons and comforts. She didn’t return home but instead was discharged from her rehabilitation ward and settled in to her new apartment that same day. 

Gwen’s mobility has improved significantly in this time and she has become an active member of the community there, despite the less than normal circumstances, making new friends and acquaintances. 

“I went from feeling utterly hopeless about the situation to overjoyed”, Denise explains. “Due to the Covid restrictions I was unable to visit mum in hospital which was just heart-breaking. What was even worse is that we both knew that we had this big decision hanging over us and we couldn’t be together to talk it over."

Gwen’s ward was on the ground floor and her bed looked out to the window, so Denise would go to the window and hold up her iPad to Gwen as this was the only way she could show her mum photos of some of the properties she had found for her.

“We looked at many different types of sheltered accommodation, but the outlook, the size, the cleanliness of some of the places left both mum and I feeling disheartened and like we’d never find anything in time.”

Not long after, Denise was driving to work along Ambleside Avenue, when she passed Seymour Court.  Shortly after she visited the McCarthy Stone website and later that day took some photos to the hospital to show Gwen.

She explains: “Two days after we were able to get permission for mum to leave the ward to visit Seymour Court. Victoria, the Sales Consultant organised everything. Every precaution was taken to ensure we could make the visit safely, and we were able to view three apartments. Immediately mum fell in love with the ground floor show apartment as it had a little patio out to the garden where she could sit and have her pots and plants.”

Gwen’s low maintenance apartment is fully accessible with an open plan kitchen living area and built-in appliances and storage. A House Manager is on-site Monday-Friday to oversee the day-to-day running of the development, with emergency call points should Gwen or any of the residents need any assistance or support, and camera entry systems to all apartments create a safe feeling and secure environment.

Gwen is currently renting her apartment at Seymour Court as the sale of previous property goes through. The ability to rent provided the perfect solution for her as it gave her a warm and welcoming space to recover after her fall, and somewhere she could live independently which was peace of mind for daughter Denise.

“If we had to have waited for the old house to sell mum would never have been able to make the transition so quickly so we were so grateful McCarthy Stone provided rental as an option. From the minute I enquired to the day she moved in, it was very organised. Knowing we only need to give a few months’ notice removes any ties and gives mum the flexibility later down the line, should her situation change and she needs to move again. It just made total sense and made a hugely emotional period for our family that bit easier knowing there was light at the end of the tunnel.

“I can now sleep at night without any worry.  I know there’s someone at Seymour Court should mum need any support, and she is just down the road from me.”

She continues: “McCarthy Stone were very transparent when it came to the rental costs and what this covers. When you consider what you get for your money, it’s perfectly justified. With general maintenance included, communal areas like the gardens and lounge area, it takes the worry away – if anything needs attention, we just tell the House Manager and it gets sorted. The quality of the finishes, the décor, it’s all extremely high standard. Mum is proud to live there and that was one of the most important things to me.

“We owe the speed of mum’s recovery to the staff and everyone at Seymour Court who have been so wonderful. During these uncertain and worrying times, it’s been a life-line to all of us.”

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