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Still loving life in lockdown – Lydia’s story at Maple Lodge

“I can’t wait to take another trip to Roker Promenade for fish and chips and an ice cream.”

Our lovely resident Lydia moved to Maple Lodge Care Home just over a year ago and is 99 years young! We asked her to share some of her life story and her experience of living in lockdown during these past few months.

Lydia used to live just 5 minutes from Roker beach with her parents. Her dad was Personnel Manager at Austin & Pickergills Shipyard and he and her mum used to get invited to the new ship launches - Lydia’s mum was once seated next to The Duchess of Kent at a launch dinner.

Lydia worked as a Dispenser at Anderson’s Pharmacy in Roker for 48 years and loved her job. She also ran a fitness club which raised a lot of money for local charities and was often pictured in the Sunderland Echo at the cheque presentations.

What has been the most challenging part of lockdown?

It has been difficult not being able to see my family. My brother and sister-in-law would visit a few times a week, and my son, Peter, who lives in Germany would visit as often as he was able to. I used to travel to Germany twice a year and stay with him for a month.  Maple Lodge arranged for me to have my own phone though so I can still keep in touch regularly and I have a super group of friends who call me often.

How have you been keeping occupied?

The home has set up a scheme called ‘Postcard Pals’ to make sure we all stay cheery and connected. The wonderful people in our local community have sent in lots of cards and letters wishing us all well during these difficult times and I’ve loved reading them all and replying to them.

I’ve been enjoying the games and exercise activities and as I get fitter I’m determined to walk from my bedroom to the lounge unaided!

I’ve also enjoyed going to the lounge for a cup of tea and a socially distanced chat with my friend Lily who also lives here.

What are you looking forward to when life gets back to normal again?

Apart from seeing my family again, I can’t wait to take another trip to Roker Promenade for fish and chips and an ice cream. I used to walk along the beachfront most days when I was younger and still visited regularly since coming to live here before lockdown.


Thank you Lydia, we hope it won’t be too long before you get to see your family in person and take that trip to the beachfront again.

Please note that outdoor visits to our homes are subject to current coronavirus guidance.

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