Jeanne Ellin: the joys of sheltered accommodation

Outside Jeanne's house

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 The joys of sheltered accommodation

Outside Jeanne's houseOh joy! I have been invited to a meeting in the communal lounge. I am reluctant to go but the site officer has just fixed my email for me, not his job, a kindness, so I agree to go.

Site officers are the new wardens, but they are mainly concerned with signposting, encouraging activities, and dealing with lettings and voids. They also give oversight to the upkeep of communal areas. They do not deal with personal care or anti-social behaviour.

It is the weekly coffee morning and one of the tenants has made shortbread. She is very hurt when I have to refuse. She does not believe in gluten allergy and mine is too severe for me to even risk a crumb. She asks several times, repeating that she has made them herself. Another tenant offers me tea. I do not care for it black and am unable to tolerate cow’s milk. I have to refuse and cause visible offence. I have long given up attempting to explain during previous coffee mornings and generally no longer attend. I feel uncomfortable and sorry for their hurt feelings.

The meeting is about how to spend the furniture budget for next year. It is a bit circular but the site officers patiently and persistently redirect the verbal wanderers. We finally come to a shaky majority helped by the presence of two new younger tenants.

We move on to the upkeep of the buildings and repairs, which are of great concern. Everyone has their own horror stories. Several have had problems with the pull cord helpline ringing them to respond to emergencies, just as I have. The site officers say this should not happen and say they will take it further.

The truth is that I’m living somewhere I never imagined I would be living.

Please do comment on this article below. Jeanne enjoys your feedback.

Jeanne Ellin

About Jeanne Ellin

I am a poet working at living a creative life in a one room flat, companioned by a menagerie of chronic health problems. I began this series of posts after being inspired by two women younger than myself, who, fearful of their imagined old age spent in ill health and poverty, committed suicide. I explore every year as a bonus of adventures, with moments of discomfort or fear, but with unexpected treasure to be found - helped by a sense of the ridiculous, a world perspective and creativity.