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Life in lockdown - John

We’re talking to some of our customers who are socially distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. John lives in a Care Plus retirement living community with his dog, Echo. This is his story.

“Due to personal changes that came about some years back I had to learn to enjoy my own company. This takes practice but is most rewarding. So being on my own is no big issue for me.  

We don’t realise our potential. We tend to look for our comforts, whatever they may be, but they always seem to be outside of us. Advertising strongly cultures those outside wants. Buy this and it will make you happy. Oh boy, if only!  

When one realises the great potential in oneself, we begin to form good habits. Then we get good results. Sometimes we need to break the common habit of running ourselves down: ‘I am not clever, not skilled, not interested in anything, I have no patience, it’s too late for me’. The list goes on, and it’s simply not true. The overriding factor about our difficulties is the way we react to them. This is why we hear those wonderful stories of how others have overcome adversity of all kinds.  

Troubles can move us on to better things, if we follow the lead.  

I feel it’s better to be creative with something rather than keeping oneself amused with entertainments. Entertainments leave a vacuum when finished and they simply do not encourage us to think, whereas doing something creative stimulates our thinking and encourages a much healthier outlook. I have a written a schedule and try to keep to it. This is important because as it encourages self discipline.  

Each day will have a different twist and a combination of the following: my day starts off with a period of quiet time - reading, research and studying. Then I go to the park for bird watching and using my camcorder, or camera. I can do some drawing or painting, either in gouache, oils or pastels. My small collection of bonsai trees on the balcony will need lots of attention during the summer months.  

During this difficult time the staff where I live have been very helpful and we have a very good manager, always ready to assist. Shopping has been the difficulty and arrangements have been made so we can have groceries delivered. A member of staff is always at hand to help."

We are doing everything we can to keep all of our customers safe and supported at this difficult time. Many of our staff have retrained to help with the reassurance calls that we are making to thousands of customers weekly. We are also offering financial advice, as well as signposting to wellbeing and safeguarding services. For more information on where you can find further support, please visit the coronavirus area of our website.

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