Everybody needs good neighbours
Two Keynsham women who were neighbours for more than twenty years are now neighbours in the same care home.
Sue Montgomery and Ruth Pryce lived in neighbouring apartments in Dragons Hill Court and are now living next door to each other in the St Monica Trust’s Charterhouse Care Home.
Former midwife, Sue was one of the first residents to move into Charterhouse’s residential care unit when it opened in 2019. Ruth was a regular visitor to Charterhouse to see her old friend and when the time came for her to move into a care home, there was only one place she was going to go.
Situated within The Chocolate Quarter, St Monica Trust’s award-winning retirement village, Charterhouse care home is now providing specialist residential care for older people living in Bristol and Bath.
Charterhouse’s Residential Unit Lead, Tunde Ujlaki said: “Because Sue’s family lives a long way away, Ruth would visit Sue and help support her with things like doctor’s appointments, shopping and taking her out on trips.
“During that time Ruth got to know everyone at Charterhouse very well, so when she felt it was time to move into a care home, we were delighted she decided to come here. Ruth chose her own room when she arrived and our care team then supported Sue to move in next door."
A former head teacher at a primary school in Bedminster, Ruth even has some ex-pupils among the care team at Charterhouse. “One of our occupational therapists is an old pupil of Ruth’s and she always calls her “Mrs Pryce”, just as she did when she was at school.”
“Ruth still likes to be in charge. She always organising activities for her fellow residents, bringing us her ideas for the unit, organising pastoral care visits and if there’s a birthday, she will always be the one buying a card and getting everyone to sign it.”
Feeling part of the community
As well as being neighbours, Sue and Ruth attended the same church in Saltford and have a shared love of music. They can often be found having a sing-a-long with their fellow residents around the piano or having lunch together in the open-plan kitchen.
Sue said: “I feel very lucky to be here and it’s the best place for my lazy old bones. The staff are all lovely, we want for absolutely nothing and being here with Ruth is the cherry on the cake.”
Ruth said: “It’s amazing that we’ve ended up living next door to each other. From the first day I visited Sue, I’ve always felt part of the community here. We’ve all got to know each other very well and enjoy each other’s company.”