AFTER risking their lives to serve their country, ex-service personnel are looked after in a Worthing home described by one resident as “by far the best of its kind”.
The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home, in Boundary Road, is a respite home primarily for ex-servicemen and women, which also specialises in treating those with brain injuries.
While many of its residents are elderly, with the oldest being 101-year-old war veteran Harry Molineaux, there are residents as young as 25.
A registered charity, the home was one of the Worthing mayor’s charities for the previous two years, and has recently seen the completion of its refurbished bathroom area.
It offers a combination of physical rehabilitation treatment for its residents, as well as a number of activities, including film evenings, arts and leisure, bingo and Scrabble.
Computers and iPads are available for residents who want to surf the net or communicate with friends and family outside the home.
And for those wanting to relax, there is a light sensory room, which provides a tranquil environment for residents to relax or watch a film.
Summing up the home’s ethos, trust fund-raiser Gemma Cannon said: “We provide rehabilitation and care for our disabled heroes and service men and women, and we are trying to enable them to live as independently and as fulfilled lives as they can.”
One of those residents, Carl Grosvenor, 54, has been at the home for 35 years, after he suffered a bike accident at a time when he was serving in the Rifle Brigade.
His accident left him with mobility problems and difficulty speaking, but he uses a computer with large keys to communicate to his friends and family, and carries with him a lite writer to help him communicate with staff.
He takes part in cookery sessions held at the home and specialises in making Indian food – “the hotter, the better” health care assistant Tracey Dunne said.
War veteran Pat Kilmartin was shot in the legs with a machine gun while he was serving in Tunisia during World War II.
The 93-year-old has been at the home for five years, but has been visiting for 25 years.
He described the home as the best he had seen, and was always keen to promote it in whichever way he could.
“It’s marvellous,” he said. “It’s clean and the helpers are so helpful.
“The hygiene is out of this world. There’s a lovely arts and leisure room, and I like to help the home whenever I can.
“I’ve been in a few homes for convalescents, but this is by far the best.”
A stonemason by trade, Pat was unable to continue his work as he had before the war, instead taking to teaching people the trade rather than practising it himself.
As a talented artist, he had been offered a scholarship for an art school in Leicester, where he grew up, but chose to work instead.
Now he has more time to practise his talent, the evidence of which is the water-colours he has painted, which adorn a wall of the home.
“I love painting,” he added.
While the home is the beneficiary of different levels of donations, it also holds its own fund-raising events
They include its big annual open day in July, a fashion show, with staff modelling the clothes, and health care assistant Tracey Dunne having a bath in baked beans.