My beloved Mum has been lovingly cared for at Valerie Manor for the past 5 years, following a severe brain stem stroke which robbed her of her memory and balance. She went in a day from being totally independent to utterly dependent on others. It was devastating, both for her and for us as a family. It was a steep learning curve for everybody – Mum continued to present with highly unusual and confusing issues, and as a family we had to deal very suddenly with clearing and selling a flat – and getting to know Mum again as the results of her stroke became clear. All staff, from management, through nursing care, to cleaning and domestic staff made that extra effort to get to know us as a family and to help us though what was clearly an emotional and difficult initial period, and I will always be sincerely grateful for that. Five years on, life has stabilised out. and how fortunate we feel we have been. We have very much felt part of the Valerie Manor family – and it IS a family. We have laughed together, joked together, celebrated together, enjoyed each others company – and, when times have been tough, have shared a tear and a hug together too. Old age,as my Mum has frequently said, is not for the faint hearted! But an awful situation has been made not only bearable, but a positive one in so many ways. Zoe and Alan run Valerie Manor along the simple lines of giving the care to our elderly that we would wish to receive ourselves. That ethos runs from top to bottom throughout the home, and I feel so incredibly fortunate that Valerie Manor had a space for Mum just when we needed it. It is a very special place indeed.