Portsmouth care home residents share advice for their younger selves including 'don't get old'

ELDERLY care home residents have revealed what advice they would give to their younger selves.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 2:29 pm
Marjorie Brown and Wendy Fountain at Hartford Court Care Home

Residents of Hartford Court Care Home in Portsmouth held up signs with their advice on Tuesday as part of National Care Home Open Week.

Marjorie Brown, 95, who studied mathematics in further education, suggested she would tell herself to be ‘kind and polite’.

She told The News: ‘I'd say just be kind and polite.

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‘Not very much more, because I'm not perfect.

‘I am quite deaf, and I can't hear what people are saying, but that's never stopped me from saying things.'

Former dancer Stella Taylor, 96, starred in pantomimes in Portsmouth and was often ‘featured in the main mementoes of local magazines,’ she said.

Stella’s pearls of wisdom are a bit more controversial as she said she’d tell herself to ‘keep your mouth shut’.

Stella, who cheekily wrote on her board she was 57, said: ‘Behave yourself. When I was younger, I loved dancing and would never walk around indoors.

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‘I always dance. I'd tell my younger self to be quiet, to not always speak. In other words, keep your mouth shut.’

Leslie Smith, who's 95, a former Royal Navy telegraph operator has lived at the home for three years.

His job involved using a telegraph key to send and receive Morse code to communicate by landlines or radio on navy ships during the Second World War.

Leslie’s advice is to ‘always be truthful’.

‘Do the best you can and don't worry about other people's opinions of you,’ he said.

‘Always show respect to others’ likes and dislikes. But keep your opinions to yourself.’

Resident Wendy Fountain, who is originally from Worcestershire, worked as an engineer in a soldering factory.

The 84-year-old, who has been in Hartford’s care for a year, said: ‘I would carry on being a good person. Remember to help other people and your family as well.

'I'm lucky that I have a very lovely family. I used to go to the dances when I met my husband in the army in Malvern, where we also met engineers, and the dances we went to were fantastic. We never sat down.'

Michelle Presdee, general manager, said: 'We'd normally do family time with a barbecue in the garden with residents' relatives but we're doing something different this year.

‘We’re celebrating this special week so everyone feels they have someone.’

One 100-year-old resident wrote: ‘Take it easy and don’t get old.’

The week, hosted by Championing Social Care, takes place from June 28 to July 4.

Staff organised a host of activities including having a singer, homemade picnic boxes, and other things for the many people in their care who cannot usually go outside.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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