Living his life his own way is important to Leonard Robins. At 87 – he’ll be 88 in June 2013 – he believes age is just a number and that you should never stop learning.
That “learn something new every day” attitude probably goes some way to explaining why he’s a former member of Mensa, he has an interest in James Bond-style gadgets and his working life included a wide range of jobs, from making furniture by hand to a stint in the RAF and digging graves.
As a man who values his independence, the stroke that Leonard – or Len as he likes to be known – suffered in November 2012 could have been a big setback, as it affected his mobility, balance and ability to look after himself in the way he had be used to.
But following an assessment by his local social services team, Eleanor Home Care began providing four daily visits by support workers to his home in a sheltered accommodation complex in Poole.
Len admits: “I have been so independent all my life and I didn’t like it at first. But they are marvellous and couldn’t treat me better if I was royalty.”
Support workers call on Len in the morning, at lunchtime, in the late afternoon and at night to provide support including help with meals, assistance if required with personal care, reminding Len to take his medication, making the bed, tidying up and vacuuming.
In between visits, Len keeps active by moving around his home with the aid of a walking frame and continuing with his 70-year hobby of photography, using his computer and tending his small garden, from his electric wheelchair.
He says of Eleanor Home Care: “They are well organised and friendly and helpful in the office. The carers are absolutely brilliant, they treat me with respect and get to know me and that makes me feel good. They really are a smashing lot – I’d be absolutely lost without them.”