Sheila talks about her 5 month respite stay at Bridgemead

  1. Why did you stay at Bridgemead?

“Last year I had a very nasty fall and ended up in Southmead Hospital having a 5 hour operation on my neck: the surgeon had to take a bone from my hip to replace some of the vertebrae in my neck. My son, who lives in Paris, looked around several nursing homes to find somewhere for me to stay while I recovered. He said one was very luxurious, but when he went to Bridgemead he talked to Pam and was very impressed, and thought Bridgemead would suit me as I would be really happy there. I stayed there for five months from end of December to May 2017.”


  1. What did you like about Bridgemead?

“I had a lovely room overlooking the river – there was always something to look at. There was a bath, although I would have preferred a shower. The staff were really good, especially Nicola who had been there for 18 years. On the whole the staff were very good. Sometimes some of the night staff were bank staff but the Sisters were in charge. The Sisters definitely made sure I took all my pills!”

“The atmosphere was very friendly and pleasant. I sat on the end of a table for four in the dining room and got to know the other people. The food was really good.”

“I really enjoyed having the family room next door to me, to use with my visitors. We had our own tea and coffee and could look out over the river or go outside onto the balcony. In fact I had my 80th birthday party there with a lovely cake with a paint brush and music on it!”

“I also loved going to the roof garden. I put on my coat and took my walker and went up there to dead-head the pansies – they made a lovely display! I also liked to sit in the conservatory and to go to the garden at the bottom. I really enjoyed going down to the river right at the bottom, there was a sense of being somewhere very different there.”

“I liked the attitude of the people at Bridgemead. If there was something they could do to help you they would. There was a lady who always came to the dining room in her bare feet. I asked Pam about it and she said she always did this at home and Bridgemead is her home. I remember I wanted to go out on my own for a walk, so I went out. Pam came out to see me and arranged for some-one to go with me. Eventually my physio said I could go on my own. She still comes here now and I am learning to salsa with her – lots of side and backward steps!”