Michelle Stewart, a Sevenoaks resident, had never considered that she would find herself staying in a care home to recover from a serious injury, but that’s exactly where she found herself.

Michelle became the newest resident at Gloucester House, a nursing home in Sevenoaks managed by Greensleeves Care, for an intensive physiotherapy programme to rehabilitate a leg injury- a year prior to her move, she had been involved in an accident that resulted in severe damage to her Achilles Tendon.

In a spell of bad luck that most people could not fathom, a year into her recovery, Michelle then broke the same ankle in two places due to an accident on the stairs at her home.

As lockdown was in full swing by this time, Michelle did not have the support system in place that she usually would. She didn’t feel that she would be safe at home on her own, so when the time came for her to be discharged from hospital, the staff recommended that she go to Gloucester House, as they believed the intensive physiotherapy would benefit Michelle, allowing her to recuperate quickly, rather than have sporadic physiotherapy sessions over a long period of time.

Following advice from the healthcare staff, Michelle moved into Gloucester House, where she stayed for four months. Immediately, the home’s physiotherapists began working on a programme with Michelle to rehabilitate her leg and get her back to her old self again. While Michelle describes these sessions as ‘intense’ she maintains that the physiotherapists were incredibly supportive. Michelle particularly enjoyed working with one of the physios, Jane, who she described as ‘inspirational,’ providing the motivation she needed to work hard and self-manage her injury in between home visits and getting her to enjoy the thrill of moving again.

Michelle was also spurred on by her newfound neighbours, all of whom were taking part in physiotherapy sessions themselves. Their support was invaluable, Michelle states, as the culture within the home was one of solidarity and encouragement:

The other residents really supported me and made me feel welcome. I hoped that at the same time, I could be something to them, and provide some comfort during the COVID-19 lockdown periods.

Michelle also claims her stay at Gloucester House to be an educational one, where she was introduced to a wide variety of crafts and activities, with plenty of nutritious food on the weekly menu. Now that she is back home, she is still maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Alongside the benefits of physiotherapy, Michelle’s stay at Gloucester House equipped her with some necessary ‘tools for life’ which have encouraged her to improve her health in general- something she had been planning on doing for some time.

Home Manager, Bethany Powley, said: “After several months of hard work and dedication from both Michelle and the team here Michelle recovered well and walked out to return home. She was not only able to gain clinical and nursing support, but she was supported and encouraged to make healthier lifestyle choices. Michelle remains in regular contact with us and updates us on her progress.

Michelle returned home and is swimming and walking regularly; but planning to make a visit to Gloucester House as soon as she can, for a cup of tea, a catch up, and maybe an exercise class.