Glebe Care Centre’s Poster Girl Josie Shares Life Story

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Glebe Care Centre’s eldest resident and current poster girl Josie is 96 years young. Josie was born just outside Derry/Londonderry near the shores of the River Foyle.

Josie experienced heartache for the first time at a very young age, her mother passed away in childbirth whilst labouring with Josie’s younger brother. From the age of 5 Josie went to live with her aunt who had a small farm nearby.  During this time she attended the local primary school and by all accounts was noted as a very bright pupil.  When the school day was done Josie helped out on the farm, tending the livestock and other seasonal chores.

After leaving school the Northwest girl entered training for ’service’ and eventually obtained regular employment in a large house occupied by the local ‘gentry’. Josie worked in the kitchen and served meals in the dining room, a position often referred to as ‘scullery maid’.  She recalls that the two ‘ladies’ of the house bred Scottish Deerhounds and they often prizes at Crufts.  Josie tells us that she used to be fed up polishing all the trophies they won!  Her experience may have mirrored that of ITV Downton Abbey’s kitchen maid Daisy.

Shortly after the outbreak of war Josie joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service). She attended training in Scotland prior to taking up a posting in Northern Ireland.  Her post was located in Whiteabbey in a large house called Macedon Point.  The house later became an orphanage and has since been demolished.

During her free weekends she would travel home by train. It was on one of these journeys that she met her husband John.  They married in July 1944, just six months after first meeting.  She reminisces that it was love at first sight.  Within a very short time she realised she was pregnant. The expected date given by the doctor caused great consternation, and it was no small relief to Josie when her son Gordon arrived nine months and thirteen days after her wedding day!

A few years later another son was born. At around 18 months old Josie’s second born developed a cold but Josie knew it was more serious.  Her son was diagnosed with polio and spent several months in hospital. Thankfully he made a full recovery.

In 1951 things were on the up for Josie and her family. They moved into a new home, modern for its day with running water, an inside toilet with flush and a bath!  This was luxury compared to what they were used to.  The family were very happy there, especially when their much craved for daughter, Helen came along the following year.

Following years of contentment, life took a downturn for Josie and her family with the loss of her beloved husband John, who died suddenly at 51 years old. Following this time Josie continued to raise her family, and had many hobbies, including gardening and walking her various dogs.

In later years Josie had a fall, and realised she couldn’t manage at home on her own any longer. Josie moved to Glebe Care Centre following the fall where she continues to live a very happy life, a content member of the care centre community who exercises a very sharp wit!  She retains her independence and in fact Josie can walk faster down the corridor than some of the staff!

Josie and family kindly agreed to share her life story with us. Larchwood Care (NI) Ltd would like to thank Josie for sharing with us and for agreeing to be the pin-up girl for Glebe Care Centre’s information brochure.

Larchwood Care (NI) Limited
First Floor

Unit 16 Crescent Industrial Estate
Ballinderry Road

BT28 2GN

Tel: 028 92 669 360

9 June 2021

Following guidance from the Department of Health received 8 June 2021, the visiting arrangements outlined previously 10 May 2020 remain in place for a further 3 weeks, with a proposed review 22 June 2021.  As such the following arrangements remain the policy for visits to any Larchwood Care Ni Home.

Virtual, Window, End of Life Visiting and Care Partners

There have not been any changes in the arrangements for the above visiting opportunities. All continue to be available within the Homes and can be booked, where necessary, through the Home Administrator.

General Visiting

In line with the Regional guidelines referenced above Larchwood Care NI is also facilitating General and Room Visits. The difference between a General Visit and a Room Visit is the location in which they take place within the Home. A General Visit will take place within the designated visiting area of the Home and a Room Visit, for those residents unable to come to the visiting area, will take place in the Resident’s room.

All General and Room visits must be pre-booked and you will be asked a series of risk assessment questions as part of this booking process. Booking can take place Monday – Friday 1000 – 1100 hours or 1400-1500 hours, by phoning the Care Home. The following guidelines will help you to understand the process and arrangements for both types of visits

- Book in advance.
- Undertake risk assessment over the phone.
- 2 visitors may visit twice per week per week for maximum 60 minutes.
- Visitors may include children. Children are included within the maximum 2 persons per visit.
- Arrive to the Home wearing a face mask 20 minutes prior to your visiting slot.
- All visitors will be swabbed using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
- You will be asked to wait until the result of your test is confirmed as negative
- You will be provided with an apron, but do not have to wear gloves.
- You may touch and hold hands with the resident. At this stage hugging is discouraged.

In facilitating this wide range of visiting activities and care partner arrangements you will understand the burden placed on staff time to undertake the administration and facilitation of these. Each Home will therefore have a maximum number of general and virtual visits available per week and we would ask that all relatives, family and friends are understanding of this.

In addition to visiting, independently mobile residents may avail of meeting with relatives in the grounds and gardens of the Homes. At this stage non-staff facilitated trips away from the Home are not accommodated.

The plans phases 2 and 3 are outlined below, however dates for implementation are now on hold until further reviews are conducted.  The next review date is 22 June 2021 and the Department of Health will release advice at this time.

Phase 2 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

All the above risk management protocols will be in place with the following changes.

- Maximum of 4 people from 2 households may visit twice per week
- Introduction of “brief hugging”
- Risk assessed trips outside of the Home.
- Hairdressers may return

Phase 3 – date to be agreed (subject to change)

The following easements are encouraged from this date.

- No restriction on number of people but limited to two households twice a week.
- Overnight stays away from the Home may be facilitated.