“We opened the front door and fell in love”

Pat Day and her husband, Terry, couldn’t wait to move into their new apartment after looking round Jill Jenkins Court in Luton. “We opened the front door and fell in love with the place,” says Pat. “Just a few months later, we were living in our dream home.”

The scheme, which has 60 apartments for rent, offers 24-hour support and a range of care services to older people. The complex includes a restaurant, laundry, landscaped gardens, visiting hairdresser and plenty of social activities.

“It’s just so modern and nicely decorated,” says Pat. “We’ve got a lovely apartment with two bedrooms, a living room and a fully-fitted kitchen and bathroom. Everything’s been designed to suit us, with wide doorways for my husband’s wheelchair and a walk-in shower.”

“Everything’s been designed to suit us, with wide doorways for my husband’s wheelchair and a walk-in shower.”

Pat and Terry didn’t have to move far to get the home they wanted. “We were living across the road in a sheltered housing scheme but things changed and we needed more support,” says Pat. “My husband is a paraplegic so he’s lost the use of his legs. And I’ve recently been diagnosed with a number of brain tumours, which are being managed with medication. I’ve also become a little unsteady so we needed help on a daily basis.”

At Jill Jenkins Court, the couple have access to care provided by a team of professionally trained staff. And each apartment is fitted with a 24-hour emergency alarm system which, says Pat, makes her feel much safer. “I have my own carer who comes in to help me get washed and dressed. But knowing that we can get help throughout the day or during the night, gives us that extra peace of mind. We didn’t have that in our last place.”

“Knowing that we can get help throughout the day or during the night, gives us that extra peace of mind.”

With four children and five grandchildren between them, Pat and Terry are not short of help. “We’re lucky to have a fantastic family and some good friends who cook for us, do our washing and make sure we’re okay,” says Pat.

And there’s one day on the calendar that the couple are looking forward to even more this year. “We all get together on Christmas day. But this year, instead of squeezing everyone into our old flat, we’ll be having dinner in the restaurant downstairs,” says Pat. “Now that’s celebrating Christmas in style!”